The Moral Monday protests that began in North Carolina in 2012 in response to extreme right-wing policies are spreading to Georgia.
Over the past year, droves of activists in North Carolina have descended on the state legislature building to demand that lawmakers reverse some of their more brutal policies such as cutting unemployment benefits, refusing to expand Medicaid, and rolling back voting rights. Thousands of people showed up for North Carolina’s Moral Mondays to disrupt the legislative session with acts of civil disobedience, resulting in the arrests of more than 900 individuals.
Now Moral Mondays are coming to Georgia.
Progressives from across the state will gather during the legislative session beginning on January 13 to express their concerns about what the Atlanta Progressive News calls the “extremist veto-proof Republican-led Legislature that is working in concert with a like-minded Gov. Nathan Deal.”
Georgia progressives’ complaints will sound familiar to the North Carolina Moral Mondays crowd: Governor Deal’s failure to expand Medicaid, efforts to put restive voting measure in place, and education spending policies that divert funds from public schools to private schools.
Moral Monday Georgia describe themselves as “a multiracial, multi-issue coalition of citizens working for positive change for the public good.”
“Georgia has gone hard right at a time when income equality is at its height, unemployment is high, we have the creation of an economy designed to provide low paying, dead-end jobs, and we need an effort to respond to that,” said State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), who will be speaking at the rally. “Moral Mondays is exactly that kind of effort.”
Speakers in addition to Fort will include Rev. Timothy McDonald III from First Iconium Baptist Church, Georgia NAACP President Francis Johnson, North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber, and Georgians directly affected by lack of access to Medicaid. Barber started the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina.
Tim Franzen, from the Quaker social justice organization American Friends Service Committee, as well as Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Our Homes, told The GA Voice he is very excited that Moral Mondays is coming to his home state.
“We’ve been really inspired and it’s like nothing we’ve seen since the civil rights movement. It has forced people in North Carolina and all over the country to look at state budgets not as a random shopping list but as a list of our moral priorities,” he says.