The “Moral Mondays” movement, which started in North Carolina as protests over the Republican-dominated state government’s anti-worker, anti-gay and anti-minority actions – notably its highly restrictive ‘voter ID’ law – went national on Sept. 12 with “Moral Day of Action” protests in 30 state capitals, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the country...
Joined by unionists, civil rights groups, peace groups and other progressive organizations, the demonstrators demanded politicians and officials commit to a platform of moral causes, including workers’ rights, voting rights, and an end to discrimination by race, sex, gender, disability or other characteristics.
Other causes, all listed in the “Higher Ground Moral Petition” that participants presented to elected leaders in each city, included economic justice, universal health care, environmental justice, comprehensive immigration reform, campaigns against xenophobia and criminal justice reform. The petition also calls for redirecting resources away from “war mongering.”
In each city, Moral Day of Action speakers added local causes to the national agenda.
For example, pro-union Rev. Graylan Hagler, who organized the D.C. demonstration, called for statehood – and an end to ultimate congressional control over city decisions – and Washington Teachers Union President Elizabeth Davis demanded an end to “profitization of public schools.” Members of UFCW Local 400 and Service Employees Local 500 were among the more than 100 D.C. marchers.
“I’ve noted this trend,” nationwide as well as in D.C., “of closing public schools and handing them over to privatizers” and to so-called charter schools, Davis told them. While Davis did not say so, many school districts use charters as anti-teacher, anti-union devices.
And in Richmond, Va., marchers “called on the governor, state legislators and candidates for office to move away from extremist politics and policies that benefit the few and move toward policies and laws that are just and fair and guarantee a better life for the majority of the people.” Whether the GOP-run Virginia legislature would listen is open to question.
- Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer. Photo: UFCW 400 steward Karen and SEIU member Vette stand united in the #FightFor15 at the Richmond VA action; photo courtesy UFCW 400 Facebook page