Saying they could stay silent no longer, a group of protesters shouted “we fight” outside the N.C. Senate chamber in an act of civil disobedience that led to 17 arrests.
General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver warned the protesters to disperse from the second floor rotunda three times before arresting them minutes before the Senate convened a 7 p.m. session.
The protest was led by N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber, who was among those arrested, along with Duke University professor Tim Tyson. Weaver said the people arrested will likely face charges of disorderly conduct, second degree trespass and violation of building rules.
In the rotunda, Barber condemned the Republican legislature’s agenda for hurting the poor and minorities, saying the voter ID measure approved by the House last week prompted the escalation. “We cannot stand for that silently,” Barber said.