Wake County District Court Judge Joy Hamilton brushed aside constitutional claims Wednesday and convicted a dozen Moral Monday demonstrators of trespassing and violating legislative building rules. The defendants should prevail on appeal.
One of those found guilty and ordered to pay $100 and court costs was the Rev. William Barber III, president of the state NAACP. He led a series of demonstrations throughout the spring and summer to protest policies enacted by the Republican General Assembly. Hundreds marched outside the legislative building each Monday, and dozens went inside to gather in the second-floor lobby between entrances to the House and Senate chambers. More than 900 arrests followed on charges of trespassing, failing to disperse and breaking legislative rules.