The day after the legislature's failure to repeal HB 2, North Carolina NAACP President the Rev. Dr. William Barber, surrounded by people who had been arrested at the North Carolina General Assembly during last week's protests, announced that he would convene the state chapter's executive committee after Christmas to "engage in serious deliberation and write up a national request to call for a national economic boycott of North Carolina."
Photo by Justin Cook
Rev. Dr. William Barber. (file photo)
According to Barber, he will request that the boycott not be lifted until HB 2 is fully repealed, last week's SB 4 is partially repealed, and until the legislature redraws the state's unconstitutional legislative districts in a non-racially gerrymandered way.
The provisions of SB 4 that Barber says need to be repealed before the potential boycott is lifted are the merging of the state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, as well as the provision that forces all state constitutional challenges to be heard en banc by the full fifteen-member North Carolina Court of Appeals — controlled by Republicans — rather than directly to the North Carolina Supreme Court, which is controlled by Democrats. Earlier, Barber also denounced the return to partisan elections for the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
"We must do it as this legislature is trying to raise a new Confederacy right here in North Carolina," Barber said of the boycott. "What this legislature is doing is an antithesis to our Constitution and our moral values...we cannot let this pass on our watch."
In addition to the boycott, Barber also announced for a mass demonstration in Raleigh on February 11, as well as that the state chapter of the NAACP is looking at "every legal option" to challenge last week's fourth special session.
Earlier, several people who had been arrested at last week's special sessions, including Hillsborough Commissioner Jennifer Weaver, spoke about why they demonstrated. Kim Yaman said she didn't go there to get arrested but rather to "support the people who were speaking, singing, chanting, and providing them with the cough drops they needed."
"We have to yell out," she said. "We have to stand up, we have to be righteous, we have to be ferocious until our voices are heard and until the will of the people is acknowledged."