MORRISVILLE, NC (03/17/2023) — Today, Governor Cooper issued a statement allowing the passage of House Bill 40 (Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder) without his official signature. HB 40’s impact will be felt across many North Carolina communities, specifically for those who face socio-economic distress and disparities and have an understandable distrust for governmental services and systems. This law will detrimentally disenfranchise some of our most vocal community members for exercising their right to assemble.
Pro-democracy group Democracy North Carolina now turns to build an education and mobilization strategy to help inform community members of specific changes HB 40 will bring when exercising their right to assemble and protest.
“The right to join with fellow community members in protest or peaceful assembly is critical to a functioning democracy and at the core of the First Amendment.” states Cheryl Carter, Co-Executive Director for Democracy NC. “When Gov. Cooper vetoed copy-cat HB 805 in 2021, he showcased his strong support for the will of the people. Today’s passage of HB 40 signals a political shift in our state’s leadership at a time when many feel their constitutional rights are becoming increasingly infringed upon. Our most vocal communities – our neighbors and friends – will now likely spend more years in prison, more money on court fees and fines, and potentially lose their right to vote.”
Democracy North Carolina is a statewide nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to strengthen democratic structures, build power among disenfranchised communities, and inspire confidence in a transformed political process that works for all. Learn more at democracync.org.