Almost 900 Arrested So Far At Moral Monday Protests In Raleigh

The Rev. William Barber, left, of the NC NAACP and Pastor Mary Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, center, wave at a rally on Halifax Mall as the Monday protests are held at the General Assembly in Raleigh, NC on Monday, June 3, 2013. More than 100 people have been arrested in the largest demonstrations yet in the state chapter of the NAACP's campaign against the Republican-led General Assembly. Police estimate that roughly 1,000 people attended a rally late Monday afternoon behind the Legislative Building on Halifax Mall. Hundreds later entered the building, with those intending to get arrested wearing green wrist bands. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chris Seward) MANDATORY CREDIT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - More than 70 protesters were handcuffed and taken to jail during the weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly, bringing the total number arrested in the current legislative session to about 900.

In a change from past weeks, state House leaders moved their Monday night session to 4 p.m., three hours earlier than typical. That left the protesters massing shortly before 7 in the atrium outside the legislative chambers singing and chanting in a largely empty building.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver made no move to force the crowd to disperse until North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber told the protesters to sit on the floor, signaling they intended to stay. Weaver declared the building closed about 7:20 and officers arrested those who remained.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,

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