Concern about the new Trump administration helped bring thousands of marchers to downtown Raleigh on Saturday in what organizers said was the largest-ever crowd at the annual HKonJ protest.
Criticism of the actions of the Republican-led General Assembly, such as passage of HB2 and the voter ID law, has provided most of the fuel in recent years for the march organized by the North Carolina NAACP.
But new Republican President Donald Trump and the policies he could enact with the GOP-led Congress on immigration, health care and civil rights motivated many from the coalition of left-leaning groups at Saturday’s march.
“A racist and greedy extremism that came to power in North Carolina four years ago now controls the White House and the Congress in D.C.,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP branch, at a speech before the march. “Millions are afraid.
“A loud majority is outraged and the whole world is in turmoil asking what can we do. Well, we know we’ve got a hard fight ahead, but we know how to win.”
Barber has been the leader of the “Moral Monday” movement that has protested GOP state policies in recent years.