A moral deal for Moral Monday protesters

August 18, 2013 

Considering the havoc wreaked by Republicans in the recently adjourned N.C. General Assembly, it’s hard to fight the urge to strike up a campaign to erect a monument on the Capitol grounds for the thousands of Moral Monday protesters who dared to speak truth and get arrested over several weeks.

But part of civil disobedience is paying the price for one’s ... well, disobedience. Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, who reasonably suggested the protesters be cited rather than arrested, is offering those taken to jail a plea deal involving 25 hours of community service, $180 in court costs and a dismissal. They would not have to accept guilt. It’s a good, common sense deal. Those protesters who are fighting on constitutional grounds are to be admired, however.

The district attorney recognizes that trying all 924 arrestees would be time-consuming and expensive for all involved. Police would be well-advised, when the protests resume as they surely will, to consider going the citation route. Unless, of course, there’s a turnaround in the legislature and Republicans decide to go the reasonable route.

Hmm. No, probably not time to put up the protest signs yet.

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