H.B. 2 protests continue

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Ezra Brain

RALEIGH — Protests continued at the General Assembly on Monday, as hundreds in opposition to Hose Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, participated in a rally before occupying the legislative building.
A total of 11 arrests were made for trespassing when they refused to leave the House clerk’s office.
Lead by Rev, William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP, protesters marched into the building after hearing from a range of speakers, including the Raging Grannies, a leftist activist group comprised of grandmothers against the controversial law.
“Hate Bill 2 does not protect women,” the Raging Grannies chanted with the crowd on the Bicentennial Mall.
The crowd also heard from religious leaders and grassroots activists on why H.B. 2 should be repealed, though the talk was not limited to bathrooms. Minimum wages, environmental practices, and education were all expounded upon at the rally.
Earlier in the day, activists received training in civil disobedience and reviewed protocols for planned arrests.
Before the march to the rotunda began, protest leaders requested all those risking arrest to meet at the back of the stage, while those who had been arrested in previous protests were urged to stay outside the building, lest they compound their legal troubles.
Finally, protest organizers reminded the crowd of their commitment to non-violence.
While protesters shouted chants and demanded to discuss the law with legislators, recently filed dueling lawsuits over the law make it unlikely that H.B. 2 will be resolved legislatively.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have sued the state claiming the law violates the the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while Gov. Pat McCrory, the Republican majority, and North Carolinians for Privacy have all filed suits against the federal government claiming the DOJ has overstepped its constitutional bounds.
There are no estimates for how ling the court cases will take to resolve.
Additional protests are already planned for next Monday. In the meantime, the legislature continues to work on budget considerations and further tax reform initiatives.