Moral Mondays group forms in Boone
by Anna Oakes
The Moral Mondays movement that continued for three months in Raleigh is spreading to communities across the state of North Carolina, including Boone.
The protests were spearheaded by the North Carolina NAACP to speak against various legislative actions taken this session under the first Republican-led General Assembly and governor's office in more than a century.
The group -- including nearly 1,000 who were arrested at the North Carolina State Legislative Building -- grew to include teachers, veterans, clergy and many others.
Legislators ended their 2013 session last week, but Moral Mondays supporters have vowed to keep the movement going.
On Monday, about 20 people gathered on the steps of the Jones House Community Center in Boone holding signs related to voting rights, protecting North Carolina values and standing up for democracy.
According to a flier distributed by the group, the local coalition will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays. The flier urges people to participate if they are frustrated by cuts in public education, school vouchers instead of funding for public schools, cutting off unemployment and Medicaid benefits, tax breaks for corporations and the rich, weakened gun laws and restrictive election changes.
Included among those demonstrating at the Jones House on Monday was Tom McDonough of Vilas, 82, a Marine veteran who served in the Mediterranean during the Korean War.
McDonough attended Moral Mondays 10 and 11 in Raleigh and was arrested on July 15. On Sunday, he joined a group of 450 people at an informational meeting in Black Mountain, and he said another large demonstration is planned next Monday in Asheville.
"I think you're going to see some action in local communities for a long time," McDonough said.
The email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is listed as the local Moral Mondays contact. A broader group, Moral Mondays
Movement in the Mountains, has formed on Facebook to share information and