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Moral Mondays


A report from the field.

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  • jim, some guy in iowa

    eight years of it already. the lack of coverage isnt terribly surprising though. not after 2002

  • JMP

    Come now, surely you know that tens or even hundreds of thousands of liberals protesting anything isn’t really news, because they’re just a bunch of dirty hippies anyway; but a couple hundred or dozen teabaggers angry over the sheer injustice of having a black president like, taxes and some other vague grievances, that’s big news, because they’re old white Christian men and therefore important.

    • Warren Terra

      Indeed. We’ve done the experiment, and even mass street protests of liberals are not worthy of comment in the way a dozen people in Hoverrounds and tricorner hats are.

      • JL

        It helps get comment if either the police or the protesters do something really weird or egregious, but even that’s not a guarantee.

        Some 20 months ago, I came back (pretty exhausted and traumatized) from the NATO Summit protests – which were in one of the nation’s biggest cities – with stories of 10,000+ turnout, dancing nurses in Robin Hood costumes, a Tom Morello performance, politically motivated terrorism arrests, warrantless raids, a protester being run over in cold blood by a police van, dozens of major injuries (some life-threatening) to protesters with blood in the street, dozens of arrests, people being grabbed off the street, prisoners being disappeared, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans throwing back their medals, a rebel faction of cops calling in sick so that they wouldn’t have to beat protesters…and the reaction of my non-activist friends was “We didn’t hear anything about any of that here.”

  • James E. Powell

    In order to get decent coverage, the Moral Mondays movement will have to organize in several states and include a few of the top ten media markets.

    • JL

      They are organizing in several states. So far it’s been Southern states, but I heard noises in the fall about bringing them to New York, which would help with the media market part (though they’re in Georgia already, and Atlanta’s a fair-sized media market, though I don’t know if it’s top-10.

  • ChrisTS

    This is wonderful. Thanks for alerting me to it. I suppose that we, in our limited way, could spread the news via blogs and (radical notion) comments on Big Media sites.

  • Karen

    We need these in Texas. Now.

  • “The decades-long political wisdom that only Republicans get to define sin and morality is not just tactically wrong for Democrats. It’s also just wrong. When we talk of cutting food stamps or gutting education for our poorest citizens, we shouldn’t just call it greed. We should call it what it is: a sin.” Indeed.

    • UserGoogol

      I think liberalism fundamentally is committed to being nonjudgmental. Ethics plays a very important role, but judging something as being affirmatively wrong is too harsh.

  • Emily

    Yeah, this is why I’m so excited to move back to Maryland after 8 years in the Commonwealth. It’s a coordinated assault on public institutions, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe they’d get more attention if they wore silly costumes. If liberal protests are just the work of hippies being astroturfed by commies, then why don’t we go with that as a theme? We could have everyone let their hair grow out, go a week without combing, and dress up in bellbottoms and jackets with those tassel things. And leading the charge, all the leaders, speakers, and front-line demonstrators would be dressed as commissars, with those cool Russian coats and hats.

    If our struggles are going to get marginalized anyway, might as well have fun.

    • Maybe if they dressed in tricorner hats, they’d get more media coverage? Some confused TV station might think it was a teabagger protest and run a live feed to the networks…

  • I left NC after I lost my job, in late 2008 – otherwise, I’m sure I would have been involved in this.

    I was an anti-war, anti-torture, anti-rendition, protest organizer in Fayetteville, NC – the home of Fort Bragg.

    Let me tell you, it sure was “interesting” being a protest organizer in a military town.!

    I’m sure I know many of the people who are organizing this, and I want to tell them don’t stop, even if there’s little or no coverage.

    The MSM either ignores, or does its best to minimize protests like these.
    I was an organizer in NC for our contingent, for a massive anti-war protest in DC, in February of 2007, I think it was.
    There were easily more than 1/2 a million people there.
    No photo’s, no TV shots, except showing small groups of protesters – no overhead shots, to show the massive crowd.

    And all we heard on the radio on our long drive home, was that “Thousands protested today in DC…”
    TV coverage the next day, did the same thing – minimized the number of protesters.

    Still, we felt better about doing what we did – speaking truth to power.

    Keep up the great work, NC protesters!
    My marching days are over, since I can barely walk.
    But I’m with ya in spirit!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LeeEsq

    Have these protests accomplished anything politically? From the report it seems that conservatives are doing as they will despite the protests. Everybody can protest all they want but change requires control of the organs of government at least for policy issues.

    • JL

      They’re building a large engaged constituency (and sending signals to state legislators in multiple states about what their constitutents think – Moral Mondays have moved beyond North Carolina into Georgia, and I think into Alabama as well). They’re getting the national press, most of which is not terribly interested in the South unless something really dramatic happens, to pick up stories about what is happening at the state level in the South. Getting national exposure will hopefully attract sympathy for their causes, interest from civil rights litigators…you know, the kind of things civil rights protests in the ’60s did.

      Dems have been trying forever to pick up seats in Southern state legislatures, and it hasn’t been working. You have to build a constituency in order for that to work. If it doesn’t work in terms of influencing state legislatures, well, national exposure benefits still potentially apply.

      • UserGoogol

        Adding civil disobedience to the mix really changes things up, though. Civil disobedience actively demonstrates why injustice is wrong: just look at how unfair it is that we’re being arrested. (And that in turn allowed their more peaceful protests to attract more attention.) If you’re just walking around with signs, all you’re doing is expressing your views in a highly inefficient manner.

        But of course, you can’t really civilly disobey gerrymandering, nor can you disobey budget cuts or making guns more available. It’s not that kind of law, so that strategy just isn’t on the table.

        • JL

          But the Moral Mondays protesters have been using civil disobedience. There have been lots of arrests, many of them involving people sitting in in state capitols.

          I think what you’re talking about is direct action (a term which is often used incorrectly, including by protesters). Black and white people sitting together at a lunch counter, thereby integrating it without waiting for the law, is direct action. You can’t really take direct action against gerrymandering. But you can commit civil disobedience in order to bring attention, awareness, and public sympathy to the cause of fighting gerrymandering, while also demonstrating to your elected representatives that there are a bunch of constituents who care enough about this issue to get arrested for it – indirect action using civil disobedience as a tactic.

  • JL

    Last I heard, there were plans to expand them to New York as well.

  • sharculese

    Got offered a ride down there on Thursday but the notice was too short. Wish I could have gone.

  • JL

    As long as we’re talking about protests and protesters, can we get a little attention for Cecily McMillan? OWS protester currently on trial, facing up to 7 years in prison for an assault charge on a police officer in March 2012. Elbowed someone who turned out to be a cop after he grabbed her breast from behind at a rally, was then swarmed by cops and beaten into unconsciousness and seizures and prevented from getting medical care for several minutes.

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