10 people seeking action on NC minimum wage arrested

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Another 10 people opposed to Republican state government policies were arrested Wednesday inside the North Carolina Legislative Building.

More nonviolent protests were held Wednesday in Raleigh from opponents of the Republican agenda within state government.

Ten protesters were arrested inside the General Assembly building.

This time, demonstrators are calling for an increase in North Carolina's minimum wage.

Leaders of the state NAACP and others associated with the movement that began protesting two years ago planned a rally Wednesday afternoon between the Legislative Building and the old Capitol. Then, some protesters went inside.

They joined hands, sang songs and chanted outside the door of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger. It's not known if either of the top lawmakers was actually in their offices at the time.

Once the building closed and the group refused to leave, 10 were arrested on charges of second degree trespassing just outside Sen. Berger's door.

People associated with the "Moral Monday" movement want the legislature to place a statewide referendum on the ballot to raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour. GOP leaders have expressed no interest in doing so.

According to Civitas, a conservative research group, the Moral Monday agenda, which also includes increasing education funding and Medicaid expansion, would cost $10 billion in new government spending.

"That type of agenda would cause businesses to leave North Carolina," said Ricky Diaz, spokesperson for the North Carolina Republican Party.

Movement leaders argue the price tag is closer to $1 billion, according to advocacy group NC Budget and Tax Center.

While both chambers were empty during this protest, 20 protesters were arrested two weeks ago after disruptions outside the state Senate and House chambers.

Next week, Moral Monday is back on Monday. This time protests are scheduled for 7 p.m. in Greenville at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center.

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