Mountain Moral Monday
Asheville police estimate more than 6500 people packed Pack Square Park Monday for the Moral Monday rally. The thousands who came heard Reverend William Barber, president of North Carolina's chapter of the NAACP, speak for more than 45 minutes.
Barber hammered republicans on many of the same issues brought up at past rallies. He focused on the voter id issues that many democrats have said will hurt their base.
"This attack on voting rights is a crime against democracy," said Barber. "You can tell Senator Apodaca, you ain't seen a headache until you see a fight to protect the right to vote."
Republican State Senator Tom Apodaca released this statement to News 13 about today's Rally:
"America is a great country and democracy is a wonderful system. Every citizen can support or oppose those policies by making their voices heard. I encourage the protesters to stay cool in this heat and spend lots of money in downtown Asheville."
Barber also hit on the battle over Asheville's water system and cuts to unemployment benefits.
"There's something wrong with the fact that you deny 170,000 North Carolinians unemployment when the Governor gives a raise to his staff," said Barber. "To hurt people when they are already down, that is what's evil."
Republican State Senator Tim Moffitt showed up at the Rally. He told News 13 he came to interact with constituents and see what would be said at the Moral Monday rally in Asheville. But eyewitnesses say they saw Moffitt try to get on stage only to get ushered off. Moffitt said he only came to speak with constituents not to join in the public dialogue.
However, at one point while speakers were on stage a crowd of Moral Monday supporters gathered around Moffitt as a teacher began debating with Moffitt about the end of teacher tenure.
"Security is the only thing that gets people into this occupation," said the teacher.
"I have teachers in my family and the way we're doing it isn't getting us outcomes we need," said Moffitt who said he supports merit based pay incentives for teachers.
Even though the legislative session has ended rally organizer's plan to hit several other North Carolina cities with their message to motivate the state's democrats, get them registered to vote to show up at the polls in 2014.