NC activists arrested at State House protest over anti-marriage amendment

Earlier this week, the Washington Post ran an article on the changing politics in North Carolina — how the state has become more moderate and diverse. Well, another thing has changed. The LGBT community isn’t going to accept second-class status. And, that was evident yesterday at the State Capitol.

Pam was there covering the rally, the protests — and the arrests. Read her whole report and watch the video:

What a day! A nice rally on Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh against the bills that would enshrine bigotry into the NC Constitution in front of the North Carolina General Assembly turned into kick-ass direct action. First, I’ll give you the straight-up press release from GetEqual, and then give you my account.

Following GetEQUAL NC’s — a direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization; “Rally in Raleigh” today — an event to protest the anti-gay Senate Bill 106 — local gay activists were arrested for disrupting the legislative session in progress when they demanded full legal recognition for LGBT North Carolinians. Activists included Angel Chandler of GetEQUAL NC, the North Carolina chapter of the national organization GetEQUAL, Chandler’s partner, Mary Counce; and Asheville City councilman and 2008 U.S. Senate candidate James Neal. Shortly after entering the chamber, the activists began chanting “Liberty and Justice for All in North Carolina.” The activists were immediately taken into custody by police and are currently being booked and charged with “disorderly conduct and trespassing”.

I was there to capture the whole fracas on video. Jim had announced during his speech at the rally that he was going to go into the legislative chamber, so a group of us followed him in and up to lobby outside of the chamber. And that’s where the video starts.

Around 2:20 into it, while Jim and the GetEQUAL activists are being arrested, that’s when the security threatened to arrest me and a couple of other people for simply being present to videotape/photograph the event.

Is this how Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis and company run the people’s legislature? No wonder NC is going to hell in a handbasket under GOP rule for the first time since Reconstruction. It’s an embarrassment.

There are more photos and videos in the post. The protesters did get out of jail and have a court date on July 11.

The GetEQUALNC website is here and includes this on it’s front page:

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. “ – Frederick Douglass


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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