RALEIGH — The state and national NAACP calls for an economic boycott of North Carolina, citing racially-discriminatory gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.

NAACP National President and Chief Executive Officer Cornell William Brooks and North Carolina State President and National Board Member Rev. Dr. William Barber II, held a press conference at 11 a.m. Friday at the N.C. General Assembly to discuss the economic boycott and rally supporters for direct actions against the legislators.

“NAACP state and national chapters are putting on a boycott of North Carolina,” said Bob Finch, Lee County NAACP Community Coordinator Chairman. “We are urging coalition partners and unions to hold North Carolina’s feet to the fire.”

According to the NAACP Board of Director’s Resolution:

The National Board of the NAACP will explore such a North Carolina Boycott along with the NC State Conference until the N.C. legislature passes bills that accomplish the following (or until such results are achieved through the courts):

–Undo racially gerrymandered districts and create fair election districts.

–Repeal the entire HB2 law.

–Repeal SB4 law passed in a special session that stripped trained civil servants in county and state election boards from supervising elections.

–Repeal the requirement that litigants to appeal to the en banc Court of Appeals before they can file an appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court.

–Repeal legislation that stripped the current governor of powers his predecessor enjoyed.

“The ballot box didn’t work,” said Finch. “So now we’ve got to hit them in the pocket book.”

Two weeks ago during in the 11th Annual Moral March on Raleigh and HKonJ People’s Assembly the N.C. NAACP and its 200 coalition partners, drew close to 100,000 individuals to the state capital to protest against extremism in the NC General Assembly and Trumpism in Washington DC.

Barber informed the gathering that the NC State Conference Executive Committee had voted unanimously to ask the National Board of the NAACP to grant permission for economic boycott, which the NAACP National Board of Directors recently approved in a resolution last weekend during its annual board meeting in New York.

“The actions of the all-white caucus of extremists in our legislature and the former governor are out of control,” said Barber. “They have consistently passed legislation that is a violation of our deepest moral values, voting rights, civil rights and the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law.”

Along with the NAACP, at least 200 additional organizations are planning to join them in the economic boycott of the state. The press conference kicked off the economic boycott, which will include several stages and escalation of protest. The NAACP will refuse to hold its convention in North Carolina and will reach out to other organizations to take similar stances, said the NAACP in its press release.

“True democracy remains a distant ideal that the racist actions of members of the N.C. state legislature continue to disgracefully push further and further out of the reach of the African-American community,” said Brooks.

The NAACP plans to create an internal task force to examine the ways in which the economic boycott can be expanded throughout the state as well as replicated in other states.

“The NAACP refuses to accept this attack on democracy or the commoditization of bias against people due to racial or gender identity here in North Carolina or anywhere else around the nation,” said Brooks. “This we will fight against with all of our resources until we win.”

To see the complete resolution visit: http://live-naacp-site.pantheonsite.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Resolution-of-National-Board-as-Proposed-by-NC-State-Conference.pdf.

To view the press conference in its entirety visit: https://livestream.com/accounts/5188266/events/7051729.

Reach Staff Writer Michelle Bir at 919-718-1229.

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(c)2017 The Sanford Herald (Sanford, N.C.)

Visit The Sanford Herald (Sanford, N.C.) at www.sanfordherald.com

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