NAACP president pleads guilty

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber and second Vice President Rev. Curtis Gatewood appear in court (WTVD/Phil Thalheimer)

May 7, 2012 10:02:12 AM PDT
North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber and second Vice President Rev. Curtis Gatewood entered guilty pleas on disorderly conduct charges Monday following last year's arrests the General Assembly.

The men were originally also charged with second-degree trespassing for their protests in the gallery of the House of Representatives May 24, 2011.

North Carolina General Assembly police arrested seven people after the group began chanting and disrupting a legislative session.

The NAACP was protesting the budget and accused the new Republican leadership of harming the poor and minority groups.

Barber said House Speaker Thom Tillis refused to meet with him, but Tillis said on the House floor that Barber's group had canceled the meeting.

It was not Barber's first protest that ended with an arrest. He and 18 supporters were arrested in April 2010 during a Wake County school board meeting protest. The demonstrators were voicing opposition to the Wake County school board's decision to end the district's socio-economic diversity policy in favor of more neighborhood oriented school zones.

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