27 arrested as North Carolina legislature protests continue
RALEIGH, N.C. — More than two dozen members of the NAACP and other activists were arrested Monday as part of continuing protests of Republican policies in the state capital, bringing to nearly 50 the number of nonviolent demonstrators facing charges.
Many of those arrested last week, including the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, were among the more than 80 people who crowded into the Legislative Building rotunda leading to the Senate chambers to observe and join in chants of protest.
The group arrested Monday included Barber’s 20-year-old son, William Joseph Barber III, a student at North Carolina Central University; William Chafe, former dean of Arts and Sciences at Duke University; Robert Korstad, a professor of public policy and history at Duke; Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, an historian at the University of North Carolina; Charles van der Horst, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and members of the social justice group Raging Grannies.
"I started in 1954 at the Youth March for Integrated Schools in New York," said Vicki Ryder of Raging Grannies. "I’ve been doing this for a long time."
She and her fellow protestors directed their anger at the GOP-controlled legislature, which has refused to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to more poor people, has cut unemployment benefits, has ended the earned income tax credit and has passed new voting restrictions. Republicans have controlled the Legislature since 2011.
Van der Horst said those policies, in addition to efforts to restrict access to abortion, expose hypocrisy within the GOP ranks.
"These people don’t believe in the sanctity of life," he said. "They believe in protecting their own wealth and their own power."