The NC “Moral Monday” demonstrations are spreading around the country.

Rev. Barber, leading Moral Monday demonstrations in Raleigh, NC.

Rev. Barber, leading Moral Monday demonstrations in Raleigh, NC. from Wikipedia.

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.

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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.

American Legislative Exchange Council

American Legislative Exchange Council from Wikipedia

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 Nation also has a study of ALEC.

The Chicago Moral Monday organizers have recognized the connection to the NC Moral Monday:

Palmer House Hilton, in Chicago, where the ALEC meetings are being held.

Palmer House Hilton, in Chicago, where the ALEC meetings are being held. from Wikipedia

“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!

Reverend Barber, in Asheville's Mountain Moral Monday.

Reverend Barber, in Asheville’s Mountain Moral Monday. with permission, from Micah Mackenzie.

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. ALEC encourages all Americans to actively participate in the public policies of this country. ALEC understands and expects that some groups may oppose solutions that emphasize free markets and limited government. ALEC respects these disagreements. It is disappointed, though, that some have chosen rhetoric over honest discussion by attacking and distorting ALEC’s nature and record.

    ALEC provides a venue for earnest discussion on important economic issues. ALEC does not lobby in any state. Its model bills and resolutions are public policy resources for state legislators. To the extent any ALEC model bill is successful, it is because it provides legislators and their constituents with the kind of free market, limited government solutions they want.

    • Omid Safi

      I wish you could see how your very language actually reinforces the ominous nature of ALEC’s work. “ALEC encourages… ALEC understands….ALEC is disappointed.” Who the heck is ALEC. And where are the people, as in “we the people”? You decry “Rhetoric over honest discussion”, but offer no factual rebuttal of any of the points raised, nothing about the investigations in the blog, by The Nation, by Bill Moyers, by others.
      And this is nothing other than http://www.alec.org/about-alec/frequently-asked-questions/.
      This is what it sounds like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwBmPiOmEGQ
      “free market, limited government”? Indeed. Free of citizens, limited from transparency. As for the rest of us, we will keep working to get our democracy back.

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