06.07.2013 0

North Carolina Republicans stand up to Wisconsin-style union bullying

NAACP and SEIU Disruptively Protesting in NC Capitol Building

By Willie Deutsch

In what looks eerily similar to the Wisconsin protests of 2011, union members and the NAACP are holding weekly protests at the North Carolina capitol against the conservative policies of the Republican legislature.

While the Wisconsin protests were specifically against the repeal of collective bargaining for certain public sector workers and of union dues being automatically deducted from state payroll systems, the North Carolina protests seem to be against every aspect of the Republican agenda.

According to ABC News, “Groups ranging from abortion-rights supporters to environmentalists and public educators have joined the rallies, which have attracted people from Greensboro to Rocky Mount. Protesters have been seeking to call attention to the rightward shift of the state legislature, which was dominated for decades by moderate Democrats.”

In both situations, it seems to be people used to controlling a legislature being unable or unwilling to work within the political system when political winds shift. Among the many grievances, the protestors oppose the legislature’s refusal to implement Medicaid expansion under the health care law.

Dubbed “Moral Mondays,” the protests led by the North Carolina NAACP President, William Barber,  who took to the pulpit this last week to declare that Republicans were “crucifying” voting rights, Medicaid, unemployment and people’s hope.

Barber has been joined by George Gresham, the SEIU leader for the eastern United States.  Gresham said, “The state’s policies go against the working poor, and the growing momentum of the NAACP’s demonstrations will catch fire elsewhere.  We need this fight in the whole country, and if we’re going to begin in North Carolina, so be it.”  Both of these men have been arrested over the course of the protests.

The protesters claim to be representing the people of North Carolina, however in a more candid moment, Barber stated, “We have people here from as far away as New York, California and Florida.”

The protests started in April with no more than a few dozen, and 17 arrests.  Last Monday there were over 1,000 protesters and 151 arrests. So far, approximately 300 people have arrested over the course of the entire protesting.  Some protesters are excited about the possibility of 200 arrests happening Monday, June 10.

The growing protests are making it harder for legislators to do their jobs with more and more people filling the capitol rotunda, assembly hallways, and other places of state business.

While the North Carolina Democrats have issued a resolution in favor of the protests, the North Carolina Republicans are standing strong and going about their business, according to the ABC News report, as lawmakers “are doing exactly what they campaigned on and that the protesters don’t represent a majority of North Carolina residents.”  They understand what they were elected to do, and they will not be deterred.

There are two contrasts worth drawing.  One is between the North Carolina Republicans and the Washington, D.C. Republicans.  In North Carolina, the Republicans are standing true to their convictions in the face of public pressure.  This is something national Republican leaders would do well to learn from.  While they talk of opposing Obamacare, they have yet to have the guts to defund it via the continuing resolution or debt ceiling process.  If Obamacare is bad law, the House of Representatives could easily refuse to fund it by refusing to fund everything.  Sadly they seem scared of the public pressure and ridicule that will come their way if they tried.

The second is a comparison between conservative and liberal activists response to political losses.  In Colorado when gun control was pushed through, the people of Colorado followed the legal processes and quietly collected the necessary number of signatures for a recall election.  In North Carolina as in Madison, we are seeing days of disruptive unending attention seeking protests.  At some point one needs to admit that you lost an election and prepare for the next one, or if you feel the need to protest, do it peacefully and legally.  Liberal interests groups seem yet again unable to do that.

As for legislators in Raleigh, they should simply be strong and do what the people elected them to do and not let out of state bullies intimidate them. If lawmakers stand up to the unions, just like in Wisconsin, the silent majority will stand with them.

For up to date North Carolina protest news check out our good friends at Carolina Plott Hound.

Willie Deutsch is Editor-in-Chief for NetRightDaily.com, and Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government. You can follow him on twitter @williedeutsch.

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