William Barber Convicted of Trespassing
Moral Mondays protest: William Barber convicted of trespassing for 2017 action
Barber had pleaded not guilty, seeking to frame the case as a freedom of speech issue after he was arrested during a sit-in.
The US religious leader and activist William Barber, a national figurehead in the campaign for a “moral revival” in the country, was convicted on Thursday of second-degree trespass for his role in a peaceful 2017 protest in North Carolina over healthcare access.
Barber had pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor, seeking to frame the case as a freedom of speech issue after he was arrested during a sit-in at the North Carolina state legislature that sprang from his Moral Mondays protest movement.
The trial, which lasted three days, saw a number of law enforcement officials testify that they had asked Barber, the former leader of the North Carolina NAACP and a group of protesters to leave after a group of Republican politicians declined to meet with them in May 2017.
Barber, and others, had been arrested due to what prosecutors described was loud noise during the protests. Barber had been reading from the Bible and quoting statistics related to North Carolina’s refusal to expand Medicaid, the federal healthcare provision for low-income Americans.