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Dr. Barber, Dozen Others Arrested After Health-Care Protest in North Carolina

Health Care Protestors Arrested

Raleigh, NC – The head of the North Carolina NAACP was among more than 30 people arrested Tuesday (May 30) during a demonstration against Republican lawmakers’ refusal to expand Medicaid coverage — the latest in a long string of protests the NAACP and members of the Moral Monday movement have waged since the GOP returned to power in 2013.

With zip-ties on their wrists, the Rev. Dr. William Barber and 31 other protesters were led away by police as supporters continued protest chants in support of health care for all.

Before Tuesday’s arrests, a group comprising doctors, health care workers, clergy and others marched through the hallways and gathered near the offices of House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, where other protesters sat outside. Police also arrested some protesters who had entered Brunswick County Republican Sen. Bill Rabon’s office.

Demonstrators wanted the General Assembly to expand health coverage to poor and disabled people. They also protested in support of preserving the federal health care law passed under former President Barack Obama.

“We never come to get arrested,” Barber told the media. “But what we do come to do is exercise our constitutional right.”

The arrests came after complaints received by officers, General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock said. Those taken into custody will face second-degree trespassing charges, Brock added.

In a statement released before the demonstration, Barber said that a universal health care system is a necessity and that health care should be viewed as a human right.

“If you do not consider the poor up front in your policies, according to our Constitution, you are uncivilized and un-Christian,” Barber said Wednesday, attacking Republicans’ denial of Medicaid expansion and push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

According to an NAACP handout distributed to gatherers, the expansion would save the state $3.9 billion in federal funds per year and prevent up to 1,145 unnecessary deaths annually.

“This is about facts…and it’s about real people,” Barber said. “It’s not just about numbers. But there’s a face on the numbers.”

Protesters announced a health care rally for Tuesday evening on the lawn outside of the Legislative Building.

Barber and his allies have spent the past four years protesting Republican policies on education spending, the environment, the minimum wage and fracking. More than 1,000 people have been arrested since then in nonviolent protests of civil disobedience.

Earlier this month, Barber announced that he is stepping down after 12 years as the NAACP state leader and will focus on a campaign for poor people, just as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had started before he was assassinated.

Source: (AP)

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

One thought on “Dr. Barber, Dozen Others Arrested After Health-Care Protest in North Carolina

  1. Hello phillis,
    How are you.. Wanted sont exposure on my new venture as we also planning lobbying for the validation of our truth authenticity as HUMAN..
    The initiation will create jobs and connect services, to boost our economie and unify our community.
    I hope you remember me at african sdvocates against AIDS.. Our new venture is
    We all together in the fight dr barber..
    Hope to hear from you soon.

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