by Paul Blest
There were free snacks provided to protestors. Wednesday evening, I believe someone from the NC NAACP bought a modest spread of apple slices, Chik-fil-A nuggets and chicken salad wraps laid out on the couches next to the big window facing Jones Street. Yesterday, there was a table on the first floor on the House side which had boxes of Trail Mix packs, Ritz crackers, Lance crackers, and Christmas cookies. I do not know who left it, but I recall they left a sign saying they were for the protestors. This was not a steak luncheon.Dan Ruccia, a frequent INDY contributor, wrote:
Needless to say, though I certainly appreciated the generosity, none of us protestors were there for the food. It should be clear that North Carolina voters can't trust what Rep. David R. Lewis and his Republican colleagues have to say anyway. They said they were going to hold a session for Hurricane Matthew disaster relief, and instead they provided only a fraction of the funding needed, patted themselves on the back, and then preceded with a disgusting and cynical power grab from duly elected Governor-elect Roy Cooper, all without any public notice. The powers delegated, respectively, to the governor and the legislature are not an issue North Carolina voters care about, and Lewis and his colleagues lied to pursue an agenda with no popular support.
We will keep protesting until they pack up and go home. I pity Rep. Lewis, who can't imagine having any ideals he would fight for without financial compensation.
In response to your question on Twitter: I took part in the protests yesterday morning. I find Lewis and Moore's claims about there being paid protesters really insulting. I took half a day off of work to drive to Raleigh from Durham to make myself heard as much as I could. Nobody paid me, nobody gave me anything, and I voluntarily sacrificed vacation time to be there. And while I wasn't born in North Carolina, I've lived here for a decade now. The state is very much my home.Janet Whitesides:
I couldn't stick around all day, unfortunately, or I would have. I don't have a ton of time to protest these days, but I think it's important at times like these, when the legislature is so clearly overstepping the boundaries of what should be permissible in a representative democracy, to let my voice, my body, and my presence speak, both for myself and for the people I know who can't. The nakedness of the Republican Party's power grab is breathtaking, as are their feeble excuses for it.
I was there of my own free will on Tue, Thur. I emphatically deny that I was paid, bribed with food or free transport to be there. If you need any further information, please contact me.Jennifer Bremer:
I am one of the volunteers who has protested every day of the session and will also protest today. I have not been paid, I have taken my own car (paying about $30 in parking, plus gas) or carpooled. I have mostly purchased food, although one group tapped its members to have some pizzas delivered. I have purchased my own supplies for signs.
Elections are not the only way, or even necessarily the best way, to advance progressive causes. Personal activism has always proven vital to getting anything done and our commitment to that tradition is what motivates us. We had determined to protest as a group before hearing that the NAACP was organizing protests. Recognizing that the NAACP, Rev. Barber, and his colleagues have provided exceptional leadership in the state (e.g., through Moral Mondays), we have followed their lead, but we are completely independent and not funded by anyone.
@pblest no one paid me anything to go protest yesterday. I'd today but I'm at a funeral. Republican 1%er fwiw.— Mark Zachmann (@MarkZachmann) December 16, 2016
@pblest No one paid me on Tuesday and Thursday to support the NAACP effort to shine a light on the Republican power grab in the state house.— Chuck Lewis (@chuck27516) December 16, 2016
@pblest I'm heading to the state house in an hour. No food, no free transportation, no lunch. Get serious.— Janine Latus (@JanineAuthor) December 16, 2016
@pblest I was not paid to walk the few blocks to yell at the trash that is the ncgop for hijacking the state— jason (@jbphebus) December 16, 2016
@pblest I did see people pour coffee for those who stood by the police van in the freezing cold in solidarity of those who had been arrested— jason (@jbphebus) December 16, 2016
@pblest My mother and I went to voice our opposition to the special session. There's a free water fountain in the rotunda? (1)— Juselkus (@JuselKus) December 16, 2016
@pblest we paid for lunch in the basement ourselves, don't need to get paid to donate my time for this purpose (2)— Juselkus (@JuselKus) December 16, 2016
@pblest I was there and I know exactly why. Special session 4 was illegally planned in secret as a power grab and a jab at Cooper's support— Natalie Herr (@riosherr) December 16, 2016
@pblest I personally delivered water and snacks after a dozen other concerned voters who could no go offered to support those there— Natalie Herr (@riosherr) December 16, 2016