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NAACP holds Moral Monday protest in New Bern

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NEW BERN, N.C. -

Protesters rallied in Craven County to demand change inseveral of our state laws.

On Monday the National Association for the Advancement ofColored People held their 20th Moral Monday protest at Kafer Park inNew Bern.

The civil rights organization said they want statelawmakers to reverse their decision to cut Medicaid and unemployment benefits.

They also want the General Assembly to undo the lawrequiring voter ID at the polls starting in the year 2016.

"As an African American female, I'm reminded of how mypeople struggled and bled and died for voting rights just for me, and for allof us. For persons to now try to change that law, that's unconstitutional,"said Rev. Dr. Patricia Johnson Dowtin, an NAACP member.

The protests started in Raleigh and have made their wayacross the state to Charlotte, Asheville, and Greenville.

More than 900 people have been arrested at previous MoralMonday protests.

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A protest that started in the state capital is heading to the East on Monday.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will hold their 20th Moral Monday protest in New Bern.

"This is not about black or white or Latino. It's about what's right and what's wrong," said Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of theNorth Carolina NAACP.

The civil rights organization is planning its protest at Kafer Park at 4 PM to demand that the General Assembly repeal several laws they feelare wrong.

"We look at how they cut unemployment, cut Medicaid, and passed a monster voter suppression bill and raised loan charges, allowing people to charge higher rates for those who need to borrow money," said Barber.

Barber says more than 900 people have been arrested at previous Moral Monday protests.

Evelyn Paul of New Bern was one of them.

"What has happened in this state… It's just very sad, very scary," said Paul.

The NAACP has issued a report card grading all the lawmakers in our state based on their voting record. They're planning to distribute these at the protest on Monday.

"So for instance, Senator Norman Sanderson in Craven County, when we look at his record, he got a zero," said Barber.

Senator Sanderson did not return a phone call seeking comment, but 9 On Your Side did speak with John Bell, who represents Craven County in the statehouse.

"I'm really not going to respond to the untruthful attacks of the NAACP," said Bell.

Bell got a failing grade from the NAACP, but he says he has no regrets for any of the bills he voted for.

"We ensured the integrity of our voting right systems that allowed security in people casting the ballot, which over 70% of North Carolinians asked for. We delivered tax reform. We're going to continue education reform," said Bell.

The NAACP feels the General Assembly's laws are extreme, but Bell says lawmakers are unlikely to repeal them.

Barber says he'll ask Governor Pat McCrory to call a redemption session on November 27 to repeal some of his laws.

He says if the governor does not repeal them by December 20, there will be another protest in Raleigh.

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