The NC “Moral Monday” demonstrations are spreading around the country.
The Moral Mondays were first held in Raleigh, and brought together a broad coalition of faith groups, civil rights groups, women’s rights groups, immigration rights groups, and more.
The next step was in Asheville, when there was a Mountain Moral Monday.
Now, the model of these protests is spreading around the country to target the erosion of civil rights, liberties, and the takeover of unelected secretive Big Money politics.
The next waive is in Chicago, where a group of “Chicago Moral Monday Coalition, an alliance of Chicago clergy, lay people, unions and community organizations” is targeting the historic hotel where the notorious ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is to hold their meeting in the first week of August.
ALEC is among the most notorious of secretive efforts to subvert a democratic process. ALEC’s sessions consist of wining and dining politicians in posh hotels, and then handing the legislators bills that will be written into law.
These includes bills on “Stand Your Ground”, privatizing schools, health insurance, voting rights, tax structures, gun legislation, environment, and more. There is a thorough summary of how ALEC operates here.
77 ALEC BILLS IN 2013 were written into law in support of Big Oil and the agriculture industry. Here is a listing of some of the politicians who have served ALEC.
For many of us who learned about civics through School House Rock, here is a lighthearted and effective School House Rock report on how ALEC operates.
You can also see Bill Moyers’ thorough expose on ALEC.
The Chicago Moral Monday organizers have recognized the connection to the NC Moral Monday:
“Over the last three months, more than 900 North Carolinians have been arrested, and thousands upon thousands more have rallied to support them. Our brothers and sisters in Raleigh have been protesting cuts to public education and assaults on labor, attacks on Medicaid, unemployment and other social programs, and disenfranchisement through restrictive voter ID laws,” said Chicago Moral Monday Coalition member Rev Marilyn Pagán-Banks, United Church of Christ.
“While Moral Monday activists and community members have been targeting their state legislators, most of these new laws were originally written by ALEC. As North Carolinians take their protest to Ashville today to follow their congresspeople home after the end of the legislative session, we join them in solidarity as we take the Moral Monday protest to the authors of these and other immoral laws in Chicago,” said Rev Pagán-Banks.
ALEC is meeting at the historic Palmer Hilton House in Chicago, and the demonstrations in Chicago are targeting that session.
The spreading of Moral Mondays could mark one of the important resistances to the takeover of democracy, and the organization of faith communities on behalf of the most vulnerable people in society.
It is also a significant projection of Christian leadership in addressing issues of poverty, gun control, environment, women’s rights, and the takeover of democratic politics. This is one Christian leadership that operates through grassroots coalition building, including with women’s rights groups, civil rights groups, and Muslim organizations.
There is hope for us, and for our fledgling democracy!