Kathy Greggs, a US Army combat veteran from Fayetteville, went to the Legislature to speak to the state House Appropriations Committee for Health and Human Services to urge lawmakers to expand Medicaid, expand workers’ rights, and pass affordable housing protections. Although Greggs and others were able to sign up to speak, they were told they couldn’t speak. Greggs didn’t accept that.
This happened Tuesday, Jun 29, when the committee was discussing a $25.7 billion state budget passed by the Republican controlled state Senate, which wrote the budget behind closed doors. Greggs signed up to speak, as did others, and later, the legislative staff took the sign-up sheet and the public was notified by committee chair, state Rep. Donna McDowell White, that there would be no public comment. Greggs interrupted the meeting to demand a chance for public comment. More in an interview recorded with Cardinal & Pine. Find the interview at https://ne-np.facebook.com/CardinalAndPine/videos/activist-arrested-at-north-carolina-general-assembly-speaks-out/400695954610819/
On Friday, July 2, the Fayetteville Observer provided an update in “Advocates speak out at state Legislature following arrest of Fayetteville activist.” Activists including Kathy Greggs, president and co-founder of the Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Taskforce, Fayetteville PACT, were advocating for their right to be heard by the Legislature. Activists were also defending Kathy Greggs, who was arrested Tuesday at the Legislature on a charge of second-degree trespass.
The Fayetteville Observer article quotes Dawn Blagrove, executive director of Emancipate NC, who said activists are seeing attempts across the state to “silence” the people. Blagrove also said, “Part of your freedom is the freedom to protest. Part of your freedom is the freedom to demand that your government conform to your wills and your desires. That is what it means to be a part of a democracy.”
Community discussion on state budget is set up for July 22.