My friend, Leslie Boyd, designed this tee-shirt for those of us doing civil disobedience in Raleigh. I’m not going to wear it to Grace Covenant Presbyterian tomorrow morning but I am going to wear it when I led communion at Circle of Mercy later that day.
When I was in the holding cell with ten other women, we went around the circle, told our names and whether we had participated in civil disobedience before. A few of us had several actions under our belts but for many of us this was our first one. One woman was 82 years old!
I remember when I decided I couldn’t do this because of my brain injury, I felt a little like a failure. I believed then that only “true activists” did this and until I had the experience, I wasn’t a true activist. I’ve since changed my tune drastically. We are all members of the Body of Christ and we have our own ways of contributing to this cause of justice.
My brain functioning has improved immensely since my accident in 1996. I remember when I lived in Atlanta, I often went to rallies where I joined in singing the chants. As much as I love Asheville, it just doesn’t have these sort of rallies here and I’ve missed participating immensely. Below is a picture of the crowd last Monday.
I loved the energy and the chants. Yes, I did have to use “compensatory strategies” to be there but I used them and they worked. This really is the start of an incredible movement for change in North Carolina and I’m glad I can be part of it.
See this link for the N.C NAACP’s video of the event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsYWKnSsvxE It’s about 11 minutes long and you’ll get a taste of Dr. Barber and his powerful preaching. I understand he’s going to preach at a church here in Asheville somewhere down the line but I would love for him to lead a rally here. Who knows? Perhaps it will happen. On the video, you’ll hear the chant “Forward Together, Not One Step Back!”
The picture on the left is of Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Leslie Boyd and a state legislator who attended the rally. She greeted me when I was released from jail. The following is another video of the rally on June 17. This one is done all in black and white to signify the “backwards thinking of the N.C. General Assembly.”
Dr. Barber really is at his best in this one. At about 7.50 he mentions how N.C. has denied Medicaid expansion and offers a laundry list of what will happen. He asks in his preacher’s voice “How mean can you get?” At about 9:15 he tells the parable of the fig tree and how there’s no fruit on it. He then quotes Jesus, “There is something dam wrong with that!”
Yes there is. “Forward Together, Not One Step Back!”