73 more arrested at NC legislative protests

July 22, 2013 7:57:58 PM PDT
Seventy-three protesters were handcuffed and taken to jail during the weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly, bringing the total number arrested in the current legislative session to about 900.

In a change from past weeks, state House leaders moved their Monday night session to 4 p.m., three hours earlier than typical. That left the protesters massing shortly before 7 in the atrium outside the legislative chambers singing and chanting in a largely empty building.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver made no move to force the crowd to disperse until North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber told the protesters to sit on the floor, signaling they intended to stay. Weaver declared the building closed about 7:20 and officers arrested those who remained.

The theme of Monday's rally was a protest over new voter ID laws.

Evelyn Paul is a Moral Monday veteran. She's attended seven rallies so far. She was even arrested once.

"We hear that the United States has a poor voting turnout, people just don't care enough to vote, if that is the case, then why on Earth would be put laws in place that for people who are infrequent voters to make them even less likely to come out and vote," said Paul.

She joins thousands who say legislation like Voter ID which would require showing a photo ID at the polls takes us back in time.

Republican Party leader Claude Pope cites study results in a statement saying, "The provision has overwhelming statewide support and recent polling shows that over 72% of North Carolinians support such legislation."

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