I was arrested on Dec. 16 at the General Assembly Building in Raleigh, while fighting to protect democracy in this state. The charges were singing, chanting and yelling, all activities I believe to be protected by the First Amendment.
I am a physician, parent, wife and quarter-century resident of this state. I was arrested with professors, a college student, a successful realtor, several members of the clergy, an attorney, a mother of young children and businesswomen. All are decent, honest, hardworking North Carolinians. It was an honor to sit with them in the Wake County detention center.
I protested because the Republican-dominated legislature responded to our recent election of a new governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, by trying to make his election irrelevant.
Fairness, openness and decency are values I have always tried to teach and practice. None of these were present at the legislature this week as the Republican majority met in stealth to plan and implement rules that severely strip power and handcuff our newly elected governor. They did this with an appearance of malice and glee, casually belittling the protesters. Call this democratic?
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I am heartbroken by the direction this legislature is going. I am embarrassed that we are once again in the headlines across the country as the state where democracy has gone to die.
But, I will not give up. We have special legislative elections in March 2017, with newly redrawn districts. We will work hard, and I am hopeful that we will bring reason back to our state.
Susan L. Eder