Great Turnout At Lame Duck Special Session & Related Events on 11/27/18

Turnout was great at the events surrounding the lame duck special session called by the NC Legislature months ago in anticipation of being able to implement some or all of the constitutional amendments they created. Many organizations worked together to expose what they are doing with a press conference on 11/27/18, at 10:45am, and then moving people into the galleries of the NC House and NC Senate. The NC House and Senate sessions were supposed to begin at noon. After the later session, many people gathered in between the two galleries, where Rev. Dr. Spearman of the NAACP spoke, and then we sang together. Some people helped put up tents outside on Halifax Mall and got a chance to eat before a press conference at 1:45 pm to expose the continued terrible conditions some of the Hurricane Florence survivors still face. As Rev. Barber said during the first press conference, the only thing the special session should address is Hurricane Florence recovery. Here are some pictures and descriptions of the day. Also see the video and article at the News and Observer here.

All of the NC House gallery seats are full, and latecomers are forced to stand. First day of lame duck special session, 11/27/18. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

Meanwhile, the new voter ID bill is moving fast through Legislature.

Read about that at “New voter ID bill moving fast through Legislature,” 11/28/18, NC Policy Watch. People can still help by going to the Legislative Building and bearing witness in the galleries (as above), and also by writing your representatives about what they should be doing (hurricane recovery or at least less damaging voter id bills). We don’t know what else they may pull. 

The so called public hearing on voter id on Monday, 11/26/18, was an exercise in inviting your own people to echo your own talking points. WRAL wrote about the meeting at “Editorial: Open access to N.C. polls needs to be part of voter ID script,” 11/27/18. The hearing began at 10am the day after Thanksgiving weekend, and was set up just before Thanksgiving. 

Reverend Barber speaking. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

10:45 am Press Conference at Bicentennial Mall (across the street from Legislative Building). Many speakers including Rev. William Barber, Melissa Price Kromm (North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections), Tomas Lopez (Democracy NC). Jen Jones from Democracy NC was emcee. See highlights from the press conference and read more about voter id bill at “Lawmakers – and protesters – convene on voter ID. Here’s what the latest bill does,” 11/27/18, News and Observer.

Stage on Bicentennial Mall with Legislative Building in background. Photo Credit: Aylett Colston

Very large crowd at the press conference at Bicentennial Mall, before the latest special session started. Hundreds of people here, to both sides, and even in back of the stage.

Part of the crowd at the press conference at Bicentennial Mall, before the latest special session started. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

After the press conference, we lined up by twos to enter Legislative Building. People now have to go through security. Line looped like this and backed up to the street. Many of us got through before noon, when the sessions were supposed to begin. However, I heard some people were still in line at 12:30pm.

People lined up in twos, waiting to get through security. Photo Credit: Stella Kirkendale

All seats taken in NC House gallery for sessions that were supposed to begin at noon. The NC House session began late. People who came later had to stand, and more came.

NC House Gallery – all seats taken. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

Lots of people taped their mouths shut to show how voter id would take away peoples’ votes and voices.

Stella Kirkendale and Gailya Paliga with talking tape. Photo Credit: Stella Kirkendale

After the NC House session ended, many people ended up in the atrium between the galleries. Rev. Dr. Spearman spoke a bit, and then we sang.

Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

Tents outside on Halifax Mall, signifying that many Hurricane Florence survivors do not have safe stable places to live. Lucky ones live with relatives or friends. Others live in condemned houses without electricity or water because they have nowhere else to go. Here is inside of one of the the tents.

Photo Credit: Phil Fonville

Press conference outside. This doesn’t show how many people were out here – I’d say 70 in back of speakers and twenty more in front of speakers.

Photo Credit: Phil Fonville

Spectrum was there videoing, and I think ABC11. Looking for coverage.

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