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120 people arrested during eighth Moral Monday protest

RALEIGH, N.C. — The “Moral Monday” protests continue in Raleigh and protesters say they’re willing to keep being arrested, including a pastor from Winston-Salem.

Police said they arrested about 120 people today during the eighth round of demonstrations, which attracted an estimated 2,000 people.

The NAACP-sponsored protests have been taking place at the state legislature every Monday since mid-April.

Monday also marked the day when the first round of Moral Monday arrests from April appeared in court.

Their cases were delayed. One of the cases includes Pastor John Mendez of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem.

“We have no choice, they force us to engage in civil disobedience in order to be heard and expose the evil polices that they are promoting,” Mendez said.

The protesters’ complaints range from cuts to social programs to the repeal of a law intended to take racial bias out of capital punishment.

“From women’s rights, to public education, to the environment, to racial justice to criminal justice, it runs the gamut,” said Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Guilford County lawmaker.

Pastor Mendez isn’t ruling out the possibility of being arrested again.

“Oh absolutely, whatever it takes,” Mendez said.

Authorities said a total of more than 550 people have been arrested since the protests started.