A Reflection on the Mass Moral March by ESJM Co-Chair Tom Dessereau:
Forward Together… Not One Step Back! The chant could be heard for several blocks before we actually joined the crowds waiting to march through Raleigh for the HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jane Street) protest. The original estimates of 25,000 people had grown to a crowd of more than 80,000 by the time it was over.
Groups from all over North Carolina as well as supporters from Tennessee, Georgia, New York made up the crowd. One look around showed that the diversity was as great as the number of reasons for being there. Race, gender, age, economic status, religion, every group was represented. And, UUs’ were everywhere! It was difficult not to find someone wearing a “Standing on the Side of Love” shirt.
My nine-year-old daughter summed it up well as she said “Even though it was cold and we had to stand for a long time, I would never stop marching for freedom. And hopefully it will come true.”
Reverend Dr. William Barber electrified the crowd and spoke of the reason we were all there: The need to move ahead and counter the draconian changes that were brought about in our legislature over the last year is paramount. He challenged to crowd to respond to the limitations on voting rights and women’s rights, the cuts and detrimental changes to education as well as the cuts to food stamps and the failure to expand Medicaid.
And all important, Rev. Dr. Barber outlined the goal for the coming year. When we asked who was willing to pledge to sign up 10 new voters before the next election, every hand of the 80,000 was raised. Plans are now underway to start this new voter registration drive and to organize the election day mobilization to insure that everyone, regardless of party affiliation gets out to vote. Clearly, the voices of all the people need to be heard.
To join the movement, contact firstname.lastname@example.org