So it was just a show all along. At the Monday rally at Halifax Mall, the Rev. William Barber announced that it was the last Moral Monday rally. It was no longer going to be Moral Mondays, he said. Now it was “a Moral March … to the polls!”
So the protesters aren’t a powerless, oppressed class with no other way to make their voices heard. They plainly expect to exert their influence at the polls, which of course is where they should exert their influence. Obviously, they don’t really think they’ll be kept from voting by nefarious conservatives. Their outrage has been a show, and it’s time evidently for protesters to go about the real business: drumming up votes.
So like a traveling show that has finished its run, the Monday protest crew is striking their tent and heading out on the road — though, as of this writing, with one more fling with civil disobedience. The plan seemed to be to fill the halls of the State Legislative Building with protesters ostensibly in study groups, then finish with a big finale of people trying to get arrested.
For it’s time for the show to move on. The crowds have subsided. The energy is palpably less, though Barber tries to use his voice to keep the crowd roiled. But slogans and shouts can only go so far. Barber seems as full energy and anger as before, but the reception seems tamer. Even rage becomes mundane after awhile.
The newspeople on hand looked bored. Protesters marched into the State Legislative Building, and gathered in “study groups.” I wandered past the press room, and the journalists inside seemed more intent on getting stories out than in paying attention to the protesters. Of course, when the hollering begins, the news folks can rush out and get a few quick pictures and quotes, then go back to their real work and the real news.
We’ll see in the fall, of course, what effect the protests have had. But that seems to have been the plan all along.