Police officers arrested 10 protesters at the North Carolina General Assembly on Friday, as the protesters chanted and called on Republican lawmakers to put a referendum on a statewide ballot to raise the minimum wage.
Officers handcuffed the protesters outside the office of Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) after they refused to leave the building past its posted 5 p.m. closing time.
Officers took protesters to the Wake County Detention Center and charged them with second degree trespassing, said police Chief Jeff Weaver.
The protesters gathered inside the General Assembly building as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside in a rally organized by the leaders of the ongoing Moral Monday movement, who have criticized laws approved by Republican lawmakers since 2013. The rallies have resulted in more than 1,000 arrests.
At their rally, Moral Monday organizers initiated what they called their “Hall of Shame,” for lawmakers they say have supported laws in voting, health care, schools and other areas that they say have hurt people of low income.
Demonstrators held up posters with pictures of their first inductees: Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore and Berger.
In an interview, Moore pointed to the state’s unemployment rate—5.4 percent in March, according to the state Division of Employment Security—and an expected $400 million more in revenue this year than state officials had expected.
“More people are working in the state right now than in the state's history. We're spending more on education than in the state's history,” Moore said. “We're finally getting good economic news. I'm very proud of that.”