RALEIGH The Rev. William Barber, the current North Carolina NAACP president, has been banned from entering the N.C. Legislative Building after his latest arrest there during an act of civil disobedience on May 30.Barber was arrested along with 31 other protesters during a sit-in demanding that the state expand Medicaid coverage. After refusing to clear the hallways around Senate leadership offices or quiet down during legislative session, Barber was handcuffed with zip ties and led out of the building by N.C. General Assembly Police. The entire group was charged with second-degree trespassing.The ban, which only includes the inside of the building but not the General Assembly grounds, was a condition of the protesters’ release set by a Wake County magistrate.However, it is unclear whether the ban will remain permanent. In 2013, a similar order on arrested protesters was thrown out.Elected to head the N.C. chapter in 2005, Barber has helped organize “Moral Monday” protests at the General Assembly for the last decade drawing progressives to Raleigh for issues as wide ranged as voter ID laws, fracking and House Bill 2. He and other supporters have been arrested several times for failing to obey building and loitering laws.The ban comes just weeks before Barber will step down as head of the organization to kickstart a 20-state poor people’s campaign. The NAACP says he will remain on their national board of directors, and he will continue to serve as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro.
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