Barber among Moral Monday protesters in court

There are 12 defendants being tried at once, including the N.C. NAACP president.
October 25, 2013 5:27:24 PM PDT
In a new twist, some Moral Monday protesters were tried as a group Friday, including state NAACP President Rev. William Barber.

What the court had hoped to try in one day will now carry over into December when the case of 12 protesters will pick back up.  That's due in part to both the nature of this case and to scheduling conflicts with the judge.

"Judge Hamilton is not a regular sitting judge," said John McWilliam, a defense attorney for other defendants. "She's retired and is only allowed to hold court on the days the AOC allows her or tells her to hold court."

The group of protesters were among the close to 1,000 people who are facing charges of trespassing, failing to disperse, and violating building rules.

McWilliam is representing another group of 27 Moral Monday defendants, who have yet to appear in court. So he was watching Friday's proceedings closely.

He says the defense team is making a point of focusing on the constitutional argument of First Amendment rights.

"I think they're doing a good job of making the individual factual cases for their individual clients and also the overall constitutional amendment issues," said McWilliam.

Barber and the rest of his group of defendants will be back in court on Dec. 3.

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