Winston-Salem, North Carolina— By 12:30 Monday afternoon the vans parked outside Emmanuel Baptist Church were loaded up with bottled water, bag lunches and rain ponchos for a long day of protest against the Republican-dominated state legislature. Emmanuel Baptist, an African-American church known around town for its social activism, provided three vans. The Rev. Nathan Parrish, of Peace Haven Baptist Church, drove the fourth. Some members of his more conservative congregation may not agree with him, he said, but he wanted to make sure that lawmakers in Raleigh know that many people from across the state oppose their policies. As Parrish pulled out of the lot, Mary Dickinson, a retired Spanish teacher, made an announcement: “This is what troublemakers look like.”
Monday’s protest was the fifth of what NAACP organizers are calling Moral Mondays, which take aim at the state’s assault on voting rights, healthcare, unemployment insurance, public schools and so much more.