Photos: Spend a Day Getting Arrested With “Moral Monday” Activists in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C.—I spent all of yesterday following “Moral Monday” protesters outside the North Carolina Statehouse as they rallied against a proposed voter ID law. The protesters sent in about 90 people to get arrested for trespassing, a ritual that’s been taking place since April. A fuller story is on its way, but for now, here’s what it looked like. photo (13) Around 3:30 p.m., outside of the Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh, the Rev. William Barber greets people arriving to be trained. photo (14) At 4:45, after being instructed and revved up by the rev, protesters march from the church to the buses that’ll take them to the Capitol. photo (4) The protest begins at 5. I’m fond of this sign that actually footnotes the poll being referred to. photo (4) The most evocative sign from the protest. photo (11) Around 6:20, after a path is cleared through the rally as protesters walk into the Statehouse to get arrested. photo (7) Shortly before 7, protesters flood the atria of the Statehouse. Those on the third floor have an easier path out when the five-minute warning comes, if they want to avoid arrest. Those on the second floor, around microphones, are speaking before being arrested.
photo (8) At 7:12, the arrests commence. photo (9) The arrests and processings take quite a long time. Prison buses wait outside the Statehouse for an hour, with crowds kept at a distance. photo (10) Activists wait behind a ribbon and chant their support for the people getting arrested. When the civil disobedience crew is spotted, the supporters cheer, “Thank you! Thank you!”
photo (15) The first people are released from detention at 9:10, with NAACP and legal volunteers waiting to notarize their forms and give them these buttons: photo (3)
The “I Went to Jail” one is handed out tonight by Dick Reavis, a former journalist who’s now a professor. photo (16)
And anyone who’s hungry at 10 or so can return to the church for a potluck of lamb stew, pimento cheese, couscous with lamb, chickpea salad … you know, I took a photo of the spread, but there’s such a thing as oversharing.
Correction, July 23, 2013: This post originally misspelled Dick Reavis’ name.