NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - The NAACP Moral Monday protests made their way to Eastern North Carolina on Monday afternoon.
More than 200 people gathered in Kafer Park in New Bern. This protest is the 20th NAACP protest this year. Concerned citizens discussed issues such as the state's new voting law, as well as Medicaid and cuts to education.
The protest is in response to the Justice Department's lawsuit against the North Carolina voter I.D. law. The suit challenges four parts of the law and asks a court to require pre-approval for certain voting law changes.
N.C. NAACP President Reverend Dr. William Barber was the keynote speaker and talked about the change he wants to see happen in our state government.
Warren Murphy attended the rally. He said he has been following the Moral Monday protests in Raleigh and is happy to see one take place right in his backyard. Murphy said he's against the new voter I.D. law.
"I'm all in favor of throwing out the I.D. requirement. To me it's voter suppression," Murphy said.
Kever Clark said she attended the protest to take a stand against education cuts. Clark said she taught in several Onslow County schools for more than 33 years. She said she believes all children deserve a chance at a good education.
"The teachers in our state are hurting, the children in our state are hurting," Clark said.
Dr. Barber said he will continue to carry his "Moral Monday" message across the state.
"Over 300,000 North Carolinians who have already voted, who are already registered, would not be eligible under this voter I.D.," Barber said.
Governor Pat McCrory said the new measures are needed to prevent voter fraud and the legislation does not violate voters' rights.
The governor's chief legal counsel responded to the Justice Department's lawsuit and said, "The allegations made by the plaintiffs are simply wrong as a matter of law and fact. The governor remains confident that the law will be upheld." The response goes on to ask that the lawsuits be dismissed.
Rev. Barber said another protest will happen on December 23rd in Raleigh.
The voter I.D. law won't be fully enforced until the 2016 elections.