12,000 Strong March in North Carolina against the Politics of Exclusion
Women have no right to control their own bodies.
Workers have no right to earn enough to live on.
Children have no right to eat.
Unprivileged citizens have no right to vote.
People of color have no right to organize.
Same-sex couples have no right to marry.
Those are the policy priorities of the right wing in North Carolina. Taken together, they exclude a supermajority of the people of North Carolina. North Carolina has a long history of political rule that privileges straight, rich, white men at the exclusion of other groups, but it also has a history of building alliances across lines of race and class to pursue a more inclusive vision. In the 1890s, populists and Republicans joined together in a strategy dubbed “fusion politics” to promote policies of greater racial and economic equality. That movement was eventually undone by waves of white supremacist violence and intimidation, but 120 years later fusion politics re-emerged in the “Moral Mondays” movement. Centered around the NAACP but bringing in feminists, progressive religious groups from multiple Christian and non-Christian faiths, LGBT groups, Greens, labor unions and more, this new fusion politics is in many ways broader than the fusion politics of old, embracing an agenda of equal political rights across lines of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
When all the different groups excluded from the conservative North Carolina power base are put together, they create impressive numbers. Blogger DocDawg attended a Moral Movement March in Raleigh this past Saturday, and he documented attendance in pictures…
But more importantly, he documented numbers. In his article he declares that “we were 12,000 strong by my calculation,” and in private conversation he explained that:
“you can take that number to the bank (or to the State Capitol). I get so pissed off by wildly inaccurate estimates of turnout, so decided to do it right. I ran up ten flights of stairs to the top of a parking structure beside the parade route, photographed the whole length of the march, then took those pictures home, analyzed the mean packing density of the marchers, google-mapped the precise length and average width of the route, and thus came to that number.”
Twelve thousand voices raised in protest on a cold winter’s day in Raleigh should be heard. Will North Carolina’s Republican-dominated legislature listen?