and Clergy Members Arrested in Speaker Thom Tillis' Office for
Petitioning to Repeal a Flood of Unjust, Destructive Laws Hurting North
We Shall Not Be Moved | Tillis 15
NC - Hundreds of North Carolinians showed up yesterday to lobby their
state legislators to repent for the harm they have caused, to repeal the
flood of extreme policies passed last year and to restore confidence in
our elected officials. Among them were 15 moral witnesses who visited
Speaker Thom Tillis' office at 3:30 pm yesterday and who staged a sit-in
when the speaker chose not to meet with them.
nearly 12 hours of protest - and numerous warnings from the General
Assembly authorities - eight workers from McDonald's, Wendy's and
Bojangles; four clergy members; a nationally recognized housing expert
and a retired public school employee were arrested in NC House Speaker Thom Tillis' office around 2 am Wednesday morning.
we put a face on the real harm these policies are inflicting across our
state," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North
Carolina NAACP. "Our state lawmakers should adhere two fundamental
principles: first, that legislators should be governing for the good of
the whole, and second, as our state constitution lays out, that
'beneficent provision for the poor, the unfortunate and the orphan is
one of the first duties of a civilized and a Christian state.' Speaker
Tillis, Senate Leader Berger and Gov. McCrory have broken with both of
these principles, particularly in their decisions to deny Medicaid
expansion, to repeal the EITC, to cut back unemployment benefits and to
pass a tax plan that benefits only the wealthiest few. They pass extreme
policies, and then they will not even speak to the people their
policies are hurting."
Tillis 15 went to the Speaker's office intending to speak to him about
repealing and reversing the measures that are hurting them and their
neighbors directly, but they were never able to see him. Speaker Tillis
apparently came into the House chamber through another entrance,
conducted a short session for about an hour and a half and then left the
building through another exit.
Price, a 27-year old worker at a Wendy's in Greensboro, was one of the
fourteen moral witnesses arrested today. She is a mother of two children
living on minimum wage and also suffers from cervical cancer. Denying
the Medicaid expansion and cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit have
impacted her ability to make ends meet.
Julie Peeples, another moral witness arrested today, has seen the havoc
these polices have wrought in the lives of her congregation at the
United Church of Christ in Greensboro. She knows teachers who hold down
two jobs to because they make so little in North Carolina public schools
and hardworking North Carolinians without health care access because
they fall into the Medicaid gap.
arrests will not stop or dissuade the North Carolina NAACP and the
Forward Together Moral Movement from pushing our state legislators to do
the right thing and repeal these unjust laws. We will return to the
General Assembly next Monday, June 2 for a Moral Monday action.
More information on the next Moral Monday to come.
The list of Tillis 15 moral witnesses is below:
Rev. Julie Peeples
Minister Rubye Harris
Rev. Dick Weston Jones
Rev. C. Anthony Jones
One of the original moral witnesses, Amber Matthews, left the action
shortly after midnight, concerned that she, as a single mother, would
not be able to get her son to school in the morning.
To see personal testimonies from some of the Tillis 15, check out the new video from the sit-in HERE.
in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights
organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are
the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC
Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of
over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state,
convenes more than 160 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street
(HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement.