RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Members of the North Carolina NAACP were in court Wednesday, challenging a ban which prohibits those arrested in a recent sit-in from going back to the General Assembly building.
In May, 32 protestors were arrested at the state legislature during a sit-in over healthcare reforms.
Those arrested, including N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber, are prohibited from going back to the General Assembly as part of their pre-trial conditions.
The group is challenging that ban, saying it is unconstitutional and violates their due process.
“They’re saying we can’t go back,” said Barber. “Not that we can’t go back and protest, we can’t even go back and listen. But we have a right. This country was built on protests. The truth of the matter is they’re trying to ban protests, they’re trying to ban critique.”
The state argues it is not a permanent ban, rather the condition will be lifted as soon as their case is resolved.
“The United States has a rich and very proud history of civil disobedience being used to affect social change,” said Wake County Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Curtis. “However, we are not able to ignore the rule of law.”
The judge is expected to make a ruling in the next few days. He indicated the restrictions will most likely remain in place but there will be some modifications.