Rural Moral Monday in Yadkinville, NC
Yadkinville, NC – About 60 people came together here, Sept. 23, to participate in the 19th installment of Moral Mondays – the offshoot Rural Moral Monday – speaking out against the Republican-controlled General Assembly and their anti-peoples policies.
In front of the Yadkin County Courthouse, speakers told their own stories of struggle in the current socio-economic conditions of rural North Carolina, ranging from immigration rights to LGBTQ rights and workers’ rights. Signs were held throughout the crowd, saying “Education is a right,” “Forward together, not one step back,” and “We fight for what we believe in.”
“We need sensible immigration reform,” says Uriel Alberto, member of El Cambio, an immigration rights and civil liberties advocacy group. “We need to attack the issue at the state-level; we need in-state tuition; we need driver’s licenses, for God’s sake. We can’t have these people driving around here without any driver’s license. Even if they wanted to put insurance on their car, they can’t. Even if they wanted to put tags on their car, they’re not able to.”
Alberto continued, “I support my dear brothers and sisters; I support my unemployed; I support the NAACP; I support civil liberties for everyone, because when someone’s civil liberty is stepped on, my civil liberty is stepped on. And that’s why we’re all here.”
As the sun fell and night time emerged, candles were then lit for the vigil held in memory of Jonathan Ferrell, a 24-year-old Charlotte man, who was unarmed and shot ten times by Charlotte police officer Randell Kerrick. The officer is being charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Reverend Kojo Nantambu, president of Charlotte/Mecklenburg branch of NAACP, brought everyone closer together near the end of the night, as the candles were being lit. The crowd began chanting, “The people united, we’ll never be defeated! The people united, we’ll never be defeated!” With the Reverend closing it, saying, “And you must believe it!”
“You’ve got to come together. You’ve got to come close. You have to be side-by-side. We can’t be spread all over the place, because we want to be like a family,” said Reverend Nantambu. “We want to be like an unbroken chain. The love that we have for each other must be able to be perceived by anybody that comes around us. They must know that I love you and you love me and that we love each other.”
The reverend continued, “The people must know that this is a movement of love; this is a movement of respect, but this is a determined movement to make a change in this very wretched and un-Godly kind of General Assembly that has no morals. Because this is a moral movement and we are a moral people. We’re excited tonight because we know, in the end, we will have victory!”
By the end of the night, the people pledged to continue their efforts in fighting back against voter suppression, homophobia and transphobia, anti-immigration, racism and anti-worker policies. The people left that night more united than ever – “Forward together, not one step back!”