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‘Moral Monday’ protesters don pink for women’s rights

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Raleigh, N.C. — Demonstrators, many wearing pink, rallied outside the North Carolina Legislative Building Monday afternoon to oppose a bill approved last week that would increase restrictions on abortions in the state, according to WRAL.

Over the past two months, nearly 700 people have been arrested in the weekly protests against the actions of the Republican-led General Assembly, and some expect Monday evening to yield a record turnout that could also make way for the highest number of arrests on any given day.

According to the report, in anticipation for Monday evening’s arrests, the Wake County Magistrate’s Office more than doubled its staff from three to seven employees – pulling some off other shifts because there is no overtime – something it has done for the past several weeks to help handle the influx of arrests.

Chief Magistrate Dexter Williams said he is now scheduling five to 15 first court appearances every day until November at the Wake County Justice Center. Up until now, protesters have made court appearances in groups.

The move is the latest attempt by Wake County law enforcement and justice officials to help ease the strain put on what they say is an already under-budgeted and over-burdened justice system.

Recently, the City-County Bureau of Identification – a county law enforcement agency that books, fingerprints and photographs alleged offenders before they go before the magistrate – stopped fingerprinting and photographing Moral Monday protesters – an action allowed under state law for people arrested for misdemeanors – to help cut costs.

Read more: WRAL