October 21-December 10, 2013
The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) Coordinating Center calls on members and partners to demand that North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina District Court drop all charges against USHRN Board Member Saladin Muhammad, and all others charged during the Moral Monday protests in the struggle for human rights.
Saladin Muhammad, a founding member of Black Workers For Justice and a USHRN Board Member, was arrested as one of 940 people from all walks of life who have been arrested for their participation in the North Carolina Moral Monday protests. The North Carolina Moral Monday protests started in April 2013 and were organized by the North Carolina NAACP to voice dissent against the anti-human rights agenda of the North Carolina legislature and governor; and agenda that has included attacks on the human rights of workers, women, voters, students, people of color, and poor people.
We believe that North Carolina is currently being used as a testing ground for ideas that violate a range of human rights pushed by a small economic elite with plans to entrench and expand around the country. However, we also know that the organized protest in North Carolina is inspiring similar resistance around the country. As we learned from the civil rights movement, small and discreet protests often grow and organized peaceful disobedience are an effective way of catalyzing change. In that spirit, we will continue to support and raise our voices for human rights.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and also an enshrined protection in the US Constitution. Instead of celebrating this bedrock of democracy, the North Carolina law enforcement and judiciary have responded by arresting the protesters. Saladin Muhammad and others among the first wave of people arrested have been found guilty. We challenge the notion that the voices calling for human rights are the guilty parties.
All human rights are universal! Some people seem to think that only the rich and powerful have this right. We reject North Carolina Senator Tommy Tucker's premise that only some have the right to expression when he told a constituent during a committee debate "I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet."
North Carolina Governor and District Court not only have a moral imperative to respect, protect, and fulfill the full range of human rights, but also a legal obligation under universally accepted human rights law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which have been ratified by the US government.
Please sign this petition to drop all charges for the Moral Monday arrestees and support human rights!