Among the thousands of people who marched to the North Carolina State Capitol building and filled five city blocks in front of it, there was no singular cause for gathering. But written on the signs and banners people carried were a handful issues that seemed to repeat themselves every 20 feet in the crowd.
They included: repealing the state’s new voting law, expanding unemployment benefits, expanding medicaid, repealing a recent ban on gay marriage and preventing fracking from coming to the state. The above photos show a sampling of the signs (one actually said, "I can't choose one issue, I choose them all"). Here are five reasons people gave for marching:
"There’s a lot of changes that’ve been happening, and the fact is that you really see things going on in the wrong direction, especially with legislators blocking things like Medicaid." - Trevor Dickie, student, Duke University School of Medicine
"I think what brought us to Moral Mondays originally was the idea that the government could roll back the rights we fought so hard for in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a plethora of issues; there isn’t one more important or motivating than others. We are just raging at this legislature. We have been at Moral Mondays every single week. Ten of us have been arrested, and we are not going to stop." - Vicki Ryder, organizer, Triangle Raging Grannies
"We need more money. We need affordable benefits. We need people that actually see that we are working hard. We need support." - Zelma Higgs, manager, Taco Bell, Lexington, N.C.
"They’re trying to raise bus fares for people who normally need the bus for transportation, OK? And when all the politicians say we can’t afford a tax raise, guess what they’re doing: We’re a tax collection service. When someone pays their fare, that’s a tax. And they’re raising their taxes." - Terrance Dewberry, bus driver, Raleigh
"Today was about getting reassurement. We got our marching orders. I’m ready for freedom summer. Looking around and seeing thousands of people who are equally as passionate as I am. Looking and seeing black and white, all races come together; gay, straight; all religions; all forms of background - it’s a really powerful feeling. The idea that something like this could happen is something that’s extremely powerful." - Damonte Alford, student, East Carolina University