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No ordinary day for 'HK on J'

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See also: The progressive prescription | Expensive insurance for serious health problems | Big-money campaign contributions | Oil addiction | Holes in the Latino safety net | 10 more to watch | No ordinary day for 'HK on J'

"We need a movement, not a moment," says the Rev. William Barber, state NAACP chapter president. That's why the mass event called "HK on J" was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10—because it's not just another weekday of "lobbying at the General Assembly."

No, "HK on J" is short for "Historic K (Thousands) on Jones Street," which is the goal of the NAACP and a growing list of allied organizations, including ACORN, the AFL-CIO, Democracy North Carolina, El Pueblo and the N.C. Council of Churches. They hope to put enough people on the street outside the General Assembly in Raleigh—it's located on West Jones Street—to signify that progressive change is in the air.

To that end, the groups have adopted a 14-point "People's Agenda" that is all about overarching goals, not specific bills. The NAACP says it's a call to the progressive and civil rights community to change the way business is done in Raleigh.

"Our servants meet in our house and decide how to spend our taxes. But their decisions have been corrupted [by] rich corporations," Barber says. "We can't match their money, but with God's grace and hard work, we can sure outnumber them."

The event starts at 11 a.m. at Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts with a march to the General Assembly at noon. For details, write hkonj@gmail.com, call 1-866-586-6544 or see naacp.ubernc.com.

The agenda
  1. All children need high-quality, well-funded, diverse schools
  2. Livable wages and support for low-income people
  3. Health care for all
  4. Redress two ugly chapters in N.C.'s racist history: The overthrow of the biracial 1898 Wilmington government and the sterilization of poor, mainly black, women from 1947-1977
  5. Encourage participation in elections
  6. Lift every historically black college and university
  7. Document and redress 200 years of state discrimination in hiring and contracting
  8. Help people build wealth and stop consumer abuse
  9. Abolish racially biased death penalty and mandatory sentencing laws; reform our prisons
  10. Put young people to work to save the environment and fight for environmental justice
  11. Collective bargaining for public employees
  12. Protect the rights of immigrants from Latin America and other nations
  13. Organize, strengthen and provide funding for our civil rights enforcement agencies and statutes
  14. Bring our troops home from Iraq now

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