Thousands of people marched and rallied in the frigid streets of Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday morning to demand a restoration of voting rights and voice broad support for a new progressive agenda to counter the current policies of Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Organized by the Move Forward Together Movement and the North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP, led by Rev. William Barber III, the demonstration attracted a diverse coalition of individuals and organizations who say the systematic attack on state services—including healthcare and education—along with eroded democratic control and new voting restrictions, have disempowered and further marginalized the state’s most vulnerable populations.
“The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy,” Rev. Barber told the crowd.
Barber invoked the memory civil rights activists who fought and died so that black citizens of North Carolina and across the South could defeat Jim Crow laws which intentionally kept them from from the ballot box.
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David Goodman, whose brother Andrew Goodman was murdered in 1964 by the Klu Klux Klan while campaigning for voting rights in the state, also addressed the crowd and said the rally is meant to remind “all Americans of the blood and the sacrifice” that went into securing the right to vote, but that the fight continues.
In op-ed that appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on Saturday, Goodman explained why he traveled from New York to attend the rally and why the contemporary assault on voter participation is as sinister now as it was fifty years ago:
Watch live stream of the rally: