(The Root) — Seventeen people were arrested on Monday during a nonviolent "pray-in" at the North Carolina General Assembly, which was held by the NAACP to call attention to the state's Republican-led assault against the civil rights of poor and minority voters. Ben Wrobel, a spokesman for the National NAACP, said that the men and women were arrested without incident during the two-and-a-half-hour event.
The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference, said during an afternoon conference call: "We come to this point today reflecting on the great moral tenets of the Scriptures, including love and justice. We are also guided and driven today by the great moral framework of our state constitution that was written 145 years ago by black and white men who were in search of a better way forward than the old past of racial division and slavery."
Barber referred to the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory's administration as right-wing extremists and "the George Wallaces of the 21st century" because of measures that negatively affect poor people and minorities. During its first 50 days in session, the legislature has made the following decisions: