The pressure keeps rising for North Carolina to do something about the dreadful HB2 bill that ruins the lives of pretty much everyone. Now the NAACP is getting involved, with plans to hold a sit-in at the legislature on April 21.
“We cannot be silent in the face of this race-based, class-based, homophobic and transphobic attack on wage earners, civil rights, and the LGBTQ community,” said a group called Forward Together Moral Movement, a project of the North Carolina NAACP. They’re being joined by a labor group called Raise Up for $15, so basically all of the good guys are involved. “Together with our many allies, we will coordinate a campaign of nonviolent direct action along with other forms of nonviolent protest that will instruct our legislators with respect to the rights of all people.”
“We are the laughing stock of the whole nation,” said North Carolina NAACP president Rev. William Barber. (Aw, no you’re not — even if Florida falls into the ocean, we’ll still have New Jersey.)
The General Assembly is on a loooooong vacation until April 25 (because nobody works less than the people running American government), so they might not even notice that the sit-in is happening. But we should probably trust the NAACP that they know a thing or two about civil disobedience and government disruption.
Sit-in organizers are demanding the repeal of HB2, which really is the only sensible course of action. It’s a terrible law, hidden under the guise of “religious freedom,” that cannot possibly be fixed by any means other than wiping it away completely. Even though everyone’s paying attention to the parts of the laws that prevent trans people from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender, it goes much, much further. The law also prevents increase to the minimum wage (which is why labor groups are involved) and also makes it extremely difficult for any person to file a claim of discrimination against their employer (which is why groups that advocate for people of color are involved).
But in order to repeal the law before the sit-in, lawmakers would have to call a special session. It’s not going to happen, since North Carolina legislators are all generally pretty satisfied with HB2.
So get ready for a chaotic scene on April 21, a Thursday. Protesters will hopefully flood the legislature, make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention … and then something will happen? Maybe?
Check out footage of some HB2 protestors below.