Source: News & Observer online & newspaper ⇥
RALEIGH — Thousands marched through downtown Raleigh on Saturday, singing, chanting and continuing to fight for the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina, more money for public schools, a higher minimum wage and voting rights.
For nine years, the NAACP has organized a “Mass Moral March on Raleigh,” bringing together a coalition of groups to put forward a legislative agenda ending a week of themed demonstrations in the N.C. Legislative Building.
The crowds have grown through the years, with sharp increases in the past several marches as the political power in the N.C. General Assembly and governor’s office switched from Democrat to Republican.
Last year, while North Carolina was in the national spotlight as a testing ground for conservative tax policies, deregulation and social-program cutbacks, buses filled with critics of such policies came from outside the state to march.
The crowd on Saturday was sparser but filled two city blocks in the capital city downtown – from the edge of the Capitol lawn south toward the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Raleigh police no longer give crowd-size estimates for such events, but at the peak of the march an estimated several thousand people stood shoulder to shoulder in the two-block area.
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