Thousands of Western North Carolinians congregated yesterday in Asheville at the Mountain Moral Monday rally.
The event was a Western iteration of the Moral Monday gatherings in Raleigh to protest the policies of the North Carolina General Assembly.
It marked the 67th rally since protests began in April 2013.
About 5,000 people showed up, bringing camping chairs and carrying signs. That's about half the number of people who showed up last year.
Volunteers with the "canary crew" walked around the crowd with clipboards, registering people to vote.
People said they came for a variety of reasons, carrying signs about teacher pay, social safety nets like Medicare and Medicaid, fracking, and same sex marriage.
Chris Cain reads the sign he’s holding.
"Love will win," Cain says. "My partner and I were just married in June. We had to go to DC to do it. We would rather have done it here in our own state."
There’s no shortage of issues being discussed here, but there’s also a bigger mission towards encouraging grass-roots organizations.
Since the first Mountain Moral Monday, several new chapters of the NAACP have sprouted.
One woman holds a sign for the Transylvania County NAACP, which just started in April. She says there are 400 members already.
"We are the Transylvania County chapter of the NAACP. We are here today to get inspired, to hear Rev. Barber, to meet other people, and to have our message be heard in Raleigh."
And the major crux of the event was to look forward to November.
Rev. William Barber also spoke, whose preacher-at the pulpit style mixes with political rhetoric and calls to action.
His mission for this Mountain Moral Monday: Register as many people to vote in November as possible.