February 11, 2012: HKonJ 2012

HKonJ crowds gather on a cold February morning outside NC Capitol Building


H K on J (Historic Thousands on Jones Street coalition of 80 organizations) march and rally in Raleigh for a 14-Point People’s Agenda – diverse schools, affordable housing, workplace fairness, voting rights, equal justice and more. Saturday February 11, 9:30 a.m. we gathered at Shaw University (corner of Wilmington & South St.) and marched to the Legislature, 16 W. Jones Street.

Click below to read Betsy’s speech at the 2012 HKonJ …

Talk at HKonJ 2012

presented by Betsy Crites, director of NC Peace Action

Betsy addresses the crowds at the 2012 HKonJ

We are honored to be a partner in the HKONJ coalition because we share the belief that there is no reason for ANYONE to suffer poverty and hunger in this nation or state, there is no reason for ANY child to receive an inferior education, there is no reason for a college education to be out of reach financially for any qualified student.

We do not accept that this country can’t afford these things that make for a great nation.

If this country can rally the resources to build more than 800 military bases in 130 countries, it should be able to rally the resources to rebuild our own crumbling infrastructure. But Congress said we couldn’t afford the jobs bill and unemployment hangs at 10% in NC.

If this country can find the money to fight 2 wars at a time, with the most advanced technology the world has ever known, it should be able to provide computers to our school children. But no, technology programs are being cut in our counties.

If this country can afford 11 aircraft carrier groups roaming the oceans of the world when only one other country has even one, it should be able to fund our universities. But we know how well that’s going in NC.

It is not a lack of money, Folks, it’s bad choices. Of course we can’t afford to do everything. We have to make choices. But are these YOUR choices? I don’t think so. They’re not mine.

Here are some choices being made in our name.

  • We are told there isn’t enough money for our schools, but there is always enough money for our wars. So we’re gearing up to take on Iran. Is that YOUR choice?
  • We are told there isn’t enough money for converting to a green economy, but there’s enough money to build new bases in Australia. So we’re moving in to position to threaten China. Is that YOUR choice?
  • We are told there isn’t enough money to fund Section 8 housing and WIC and Food Stamps, BUT there’s enough money for a military bigger than the next 14 countries combined. Is that YOUR choice?
  • How about Afghanistan? The most powerful military in history (that’s ours; paid for by you and me) is fighting an enemy that has no army, no navy, and no air force and it is not going well. Is that YOUR choice?

YES, it’s wonderful to live in a great country. How often have you heard about how great America is? But if we want a truly great country, we need to make different choices.

Having a world class educational system that is equally available to EVERY child will make us a great country.

Having a justice system applied equally regardless of income, race or religion and that seeks restoration not retribution, will make us a great country.

Having a health care system that is accessible to EVERY person, regardless of the documents they carry, will make us a great country.

Overcoming the triple evils of racism, consumerism, and militarism, replaced by respect, generosity, and equal opportunity will definitely make us a great country.

And THAT is why we are here, My Friends. To RE-ORDER our priorities and RE-DEFINE our greatness.

And that’s why I hope you will be back in 9 days at this same Legislative Bldg. to let our elected officials know what OUR choices are. Monday, Feb. 20 at 11:00 am we’re coming back with the message that OUR choice is to bring the troops home and move those war dollars to meet the needs of our people and communities.

Blessings on this gathering. With this kind of unity of action we will have the great nation we all deserve. Thank you.

Rev. William Barber, President NC NAACP and Ben Jealous, NAACP national CEO and President

One thought on “February 11, 2012: HKonJ 2012

  • February 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    We are a collection of various People of Faith organizations marching to give our support AGAINST Amendment One.

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