Three Grannies arrested for protesting

Grannies Lorna, Ruth, and Vicki of the Triangle Raging Grannies in North Carolina, were arrested on the evening of Monday, May 6.  What was their crime?  They exercised their citizens’ rights to speak their minds on repressive new legislation being proposed in the NC legislature.
Click here for a news report with a photo of Grannie Lorna being taken away in cuffs.
Click on this one to get more news, including a couple of videos.

The Grans were 3 of a total of 30 people arrested, representing many groups deeply concerned about the proposed legislation.  Here’s a partial list, provided by Granny Vicki, one of the Grannies who were arrested:

  • slashing unemployment benefits;
  • refusing federal Medicaid expansion funds;
  • lifting the moratorium on fracking:
  • removing limits on class size in public schools while increasing the number of charter schools;
  • barring college students from voting in their college districts;
  • placing “no legal standing” stickers on immigrants’ drivers licenses:
  • enforcing “right to work” laws;
  • enacting strict voter photo ID requirements and rolling back early voting;
  • redrawing election districts to rig elections;
  • relaxing gun laws;
  • giving new tax breaks to businesses and the wealthy;

and more.

Given that the Tea Party is a major influence in NC, and Republicans hold all positions of legislative power in the state, including the Governor, all the proposed legislation is likely to easily pass.

The 30 people expected to be arrested, and cooperated quietly with the police as they were cuffed and taken away.  They were charged on three counts each, and released in the wee hours of the morning with orders to stay off State House property until their trial on July 1.  While they were in custody the legislature passed a vote to allow concealed weapons on college campuses, state property, golf courses, bike trails, at sporting events, and in businesses that serve alcohol.
This is not about some other people over there and far away, this is happening in our nearest next-door neighbour.  It could happen to us too.  It’s already happening to us.  Rights and liberties and protections we fought hard for over many years are being rolled back.  We may not notice right away if it happens really slowly, a small restriction here, a partial roll-back there, until it’s too late.  We can’t afford not to notice, and we have to speak up.
Think about this report from Granny Vicki: “The NC legislature has just repealed a 2007 law that required power companies to obtain some of their power from renewable sources. The vote was done by voice only [all in favour say “aye”] with no counting of actual votes or record of who voted how. The chair, who declared that the “ayes” had it, refused all calls for a vote count.”
Thank you Granny Vicki for keeping the Raging Grannies on both sides of the border informed.  She gets the last word here.  She reported:  “Two weeks ago, when a NC citizen went to the Capitol lawfully to address the Legislature, he was admonished by one of our State Senators with these words: I’m the Senator. You’re the citizen. You be quiet!