Authorities arrested more than 100 people Monday evening in the rotunda between the legislative chambers – the largest mass arrest since the N.C. NAACP began organizing the weekly civil disobedience events in April. An exact number was not immediately available but organizers expected the arrests to reach near 150, double the number from the last protest.
Before the arrests inside, a huge crowd rallied outside the statehouse, listening to speakers condemn Republican legislative leaders. “That’s extreme,” shouted the Rev. William Barber, the N.C. NAACP president, into a loud speaker as he listed legislation Republicans have approved this year. “That’s immoral, and we must stand up and wake up right here, right now.”
Police estimated the crowd at 1,000 – about five times more people than at previous protests – but organizers counted 1,600. With this fifth protest in what organizers are calling “Moral Mondays,” the number of arrests is nearly 300 this legislative session.