February 13, 2017

Reverend William Barber's moral movement

How grassroots organising sets the national political agenda.

Putting aside politics for principles. Organising around moral values, not party lines. This is what one American pastor says is needed to repair what he considers the worn moral fabric of the United States.

Reverend Dr William Barber II is founder of the Forward Together Movement and leader of Moral Monday. Started in the US state of North Carolina, Moral Monday has grown out of grassroots, non-violent organising. The action has drawn tens of thousands of people to the state's General Assembly in the capital of Raleigh. Today, it is a civil disobedience campaign of peaceful protesting and rallies that has been adapted in other states, including Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ohio and New York.

The multi-faith, multiracial movement is committed to a 14-point People’s Agenda that includes education, access to healthcare, the economy and reforming the justice and electoral systems.

In 2013 Reverend Barber and other activists lead marches in Raleigh protesting a new voter ID law that gained national attention. Over 1,000 people were arrested that year as they rallied weekly against legislation. And in 2016 the protests may have contributed to the ousting of the conservative Republican Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory.

Barber is a scholar of history and religious texts and takes his roadmap for the future from the past. Now some activists are looking to this model to turn anti-Trump sentiment into a progressive movement, of both liberals and conservatives.

The Stream sits down for an intimate conversation with Reverend William Barber. Join us with your comments and questions.

In this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Reverend Dr William Barber II @RevDrBarber
Founder, Forward Together Moral Movement

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.