RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - More than 80 people are facing criminal charges after the seventh week of protests led by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.
The NAACP focused its near-weekly demonstrations Monday on environmental and health policies in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Since late April more than 450 demonstrators have left the General Assembly in handcuffs. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and supporters of what the group calls "Moral Mondays" are outraged over GOP policies that they say restrict voting access, undermine public education and hurt the poor and jobless.
NAACP chapter president William Barber says that some form of protests or other activities that draw attention to Republican policies will continue even after legislators adjourn their regular yearly session.
North Carolina Republicans are pushing back harder against weekly protests as another group of demonstrators aligned with the state NAACP face police charges.
Many in the group of more than 60 arrested Monday at the Republican-controlled General Assembly were clergy.
The arrests bring the total over six rounds of near-weekly demonstrations to more than 350. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a growing number of left-leaning groups are lashing out at a host of GOP policies ranging from education to voting rights.
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the party's newly elected chairman have labeled the group outside agitators who don't speak for a majority of North Carolinians. Republicans built on their 2010 legislative takeover with veto-proof majorities and a win in the governor's race.