On July 29, the movement marked its 13th week with a march to the state capitol and an interfaith social-justice rally. The weekly rallies – although not the push for change – may now take a hiatus until lawmakers return from their summer break, participants say.
“We are in the middle of a movement that is only just beginning, and it’s a church movement,” said (Episcopal Bishop Michael) Curry. The North Carolina NAACP launched the rallies, led by the Rev. William Barber, its president and a United Church of Christ minister. The interfaith protests, which draw believers and nonbelievers alike, are “revival-like,” Curry said. “There’s singing and there’s praying and there’s preaching, and Jesus gets talked about a lot. … The Hebrew prophets are quoted regularly.”
The number of protesters – including Episcopalians from across the state – has grown weekly, reaching 2,000 on July 15, said the Rev. Lisa Fischbeck, vicar of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill, who has been participating since June 3. “Every time I’ve gone, there’s been at least 1,000, and slowly edging up.”
Win Basset, a writer and lawyer in North Carolina (and starting an MDiv at Yale Divinity this Fall) has written two articles on Moral Mondays: North Carolina’s Politics Need Mercy in The American Conservative, and How to Get Arrested on Moral Monday: a North Carolina Minister’s Protest (with Nick Pironio) in The Atlantic.
Earlier Cafe updates include stories on an Episcopal Chaplain who was let go frm her prison ministry after attending a protest (July 10th)
And other reports of Episcopal clergy and laity getting arrested during the protests (June 11th)