May 21, 2014 — Demonstrators on Monday initiated another round of "Moral Monday" rallies at the North Carolina Capitol, protesting legislation passed by the Republican majority, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. The protest was the first such rally of this year's short legislative session (Blythe, Raleigh News & Observer, 5/19).
The Moral Monday rallies began in 2013. They are designed to counter a conservative shift in North Carolina's government since Republicans took control in the 2012 election. Protesters have called attention to issues ranging from education to the environment and voting rights (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/9/13). More than 930 people were arrested in last year's rallies (Ferral, AP/Washington Times, 5/19).
According to the AP/Asheville Citizen-Times, the demonstrators are continuing protests against several issues from 2013, such as legislation that bars the state from expanding Medicaid. They are also protesting legislation that requires state regulators to rework regulations for abortion clinics to make them similar to requirements for outpatient surgical centers (AP/Asheville Citizen-Times, 5/19).
On Monday, roughly 1,500 protesters gathered to place tape over their mouths and walk silently through the Legislative Building. The silent part of the protest was designed in accordance with new rules that prohibit people from causing an "imminent disturbance" in the building (AP/Washington Times, 5/19). There were no arrests (Raleigh News & Observer, 5/19).