Moral Mondays Protests: The Cause Is Having Effect



It seems that NC state Sen. Thom Goolsby isn’t the only one lashing out against the NAACP-led Moral Mondays protests in Raleigh against the legislature’s far-right tilt. The Institute for Southern Studies reports:

The John W. Pope Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh, N.C., has launched a database targeting people who’ve been arrested as part of the Moral Monday nonviolent protests at the state legislature.

When you hear them squeal, you know you’ve hit a soft spot. Civitas is inviting retaliation against protestors, practically inviting extra scrutiny of their voting histories from the Voter Integrity Project in NC. The database includes “each protester’s name, city and county of residence, sex, race, age, arrest date, occupation, employer (and whether it’s in the public, private or nonprofit sector), interest group affiliations, and mugshot.” Writing for Facing South, Sue Sturgis draws a parallel with events of half a century ago.

Republican leaders’ response to the Moral Monday protests has at times evoked a painful chapter of Southern history. Speaking earlier this month to the state Republican Party convention in Charlotte, Gov. McCrory said the protests were the work of “outsiders” — even though Civitas’ own database shows that those arrested are overwhelmingly North Carolina residents. McCrory’s remark calls to mind how former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, an ardent segregationist, blamed civil rights demonstrations in his state on the work of “outside agitators.”

Civitas’ database brings to mind another troubling episode of mid-20th century U.S. history: how in some Southern cities at that time the white-supremacist White Citizens’ Councils (WCC) would publish in local newspapers the names of NAACP supporters and those who signed anti-segregation petitions in order to encourage retaliation against them. The WCCs, like Civitas, also had close ties to powerful government officials.

The NC state legislature is still in session and Moral Mondays continue. Eighty-four protestors were arrested on Monday.

UPDATE: Payback is hell, from Indy Week

The outrage is boiling over about the ultra-conservative Civitas Institute, which this week published personal, albeit publicly available, information about the protesters arrested at Moral Monday demonstrations: mug shots, party affiliations, cities of residence and, taking a page from the white supremacist intimidation playbook, their employers.

Well, turnabout is fair play: Here is a list of people on staff and on the board of the Civitas Institute and its sister organization, Civitas Action. civitas_whos_who.pdf

Coincidentally, when we were building this database this morning, all the names were listed on the Civitas Institute website. Now, only Francis X. De Luca, Civitas Institute president, is listed.

(Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)


  1. TJ says:

    Thank you, Tom, for covering this.

    It’s almost funny, since I (and, some others) wear a button saying “I went to jail with Rev. Barber 2013) in black and white. And, a few wear a shirt that says, “Jailed for Justice -Moral Mondays” in yellow and black and red… Or, a sticker saying the same. It’s hardly a secret! Who’re they going to “out?”

    Heck, I’ll even put my mugshot on the ‘net. I’m clearly not happy in it…I look horrible, I think. Then, again, it IS very upsetting and sad to see folks Constitutional rights stripped away in the very House that is supposed to support them.

    And, however ugly my mug might be in the picture does not come CLOSE to the ugliness that rests in their hearts, as they damage the lives of so many.

  2. Leslie Boyd says:

    My mugshot wasn’t terribly flattering, either. I sent Civitas an e-mail saying that I enjoyed the game and did quite well, and that I am not intimidated by them. I lost the most precious thing a person can lose — my child — to our broken health care system. You can’t take anything from me that means more than that, so I am not afraid of them.

    I will be at the remaining Moral Mondays, standing for justice.

  3. TJ says:

    Interestingly, recent pull-ups off their site excludes the photos. I wonder why. Is it outside pressure of everyone talking about it, or, the company who has those search results maybe removing it?

  4. TJ says:

    oh, and, Leslie, thank you for being there to serve as a notary. It sure is great to have SO MANY folks there who just want to help others to use their voice, and to navigate through the process, with as little stress as possible.

    My only regret: I wish I had gone into the building as a witness, first, then, stood my ground on my rights. I would LOVE to have had that view from the second level, and, now that I am banned from the building, I can’t have that, except through someone’s camera lens.

    Trip to Raleigh: $20
    Food for trip for Hannah and I: $25
    Sunscreen to protect from sunburn: $5
    Bond to get released after arrested: $500

    Lessons for my daughter to see folks willing to travel far and wide, w/minimal food, simply to protect our right to assemble and be heard, and, remind the leaders THEY work FOR US, to the point of getting arrested:


  5. Thanks for the great response! Our two buses are now full – 110 screaming WNC’ers on the way to Raleigh!!!

    OK, not so much with the screaming, but you get the idea….

    Everyone who signed up – confirmation & last detail emails going out this afternoon.


  6. TJ says:

    Confirm, confirm, CONFIRM!!

    I’m taking my headphones, in case some strange person (i.e., Barry) gets the bright idea to rev everyone up starting out, or, upon arrival!

    Believe me, the orientation prior is enough to rev everyone up!

    And, if that’s not enough, you always have it here:


    Never heard a bunch of folks so excited about being arrested…ummm, that is, standing up for our Constitutional rights, knowing they MIGHT be arrested.

    We’ll have none of that, tomorrow, y’all hear?? Calm and orderly. Nice and quiet…

    uhh, never mind….

  7. TJ says:

    Just a reminder why Moral Mondays are NOT an “unlawful assembly:”

    ” Sec. 12.
    Right of Assembly and Petition.

    The people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances; but secret political societies are dangerous to the liberties of a free people and shall not be tolerated.”

    I wonder when that became a crime to be charged with?

  8. TJ says:

    Really?!! They have THIS much disdain for us, where their paycheck comes from??

    Oh, that’s right, it’s not OUR banks they get money from…

    Or, at least, not our accounts!


    Nice response!

  9. Good morning from the bus to Raleigh. Will try to provide updates as we go –

    WLOS news is on the bus, & will be doing a live remote from the bus during the noon broadcast. Should be a hoot..

  10. TJ says:

    I see you, Barry!!

  11. Andrew Dahm says:

    I’m anxious to hear from our Moral Monday heroes. How did it go?

  12. TJ says:

    And, from the last one:


    Y’all have another chance to join in. There’s a bus being arranged, I believe by Cecil Bothwell, to go back next week. I’m riding in a car, because I want to stay while folks are released.

    It is a POWERFUL, inspiring, experience…I hope you all get a chance to participate.