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Pardon the brief diary; I just got to my hotel room after a long day volunteering at Netroots Nation and learned that the John W. Pope Civitas Institute has created an online database and a "Pick the Protester" game that features each and every one of us who's been arrested in the Moral Monday/Witness Wednesday nonviolent civil-disobedience movement in North Carolina.

Yeah. We are gamepieces in a vicious online game now. For singing, praying, and holding a sign in what we in North Carolina call "The People's House," the General Assembly building.

This includes me as well as James Protzman (read his most-excellent diary) and several other DailyKos bloggers from North Carolina.

Holy shit. If you didn't believe that Art Pope, the Tea Party, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) were mean-spirited, tyrannical bullies who have no compunction about making a game out of targeting those who take a principled stand against a takeover of their government, you are just plain wrong.

I have no words right now. But Ann Humphreys, a fellow participant in nonviolent civil disobedience who was arrested for singing and praying at the N.C. General Assembly, has. Read her letter, which she published on Facebook this afternoon.

And Progress NC has some words, too:

"This is troubling from a group whose supporters include far-right extremists in favor of loose regulation of gun ownership, among other things," Progress North Carolina, a liberal advocacy group, said in post on its Facebook page.
Using dog-whistle calls for supporters to attack peaceful protesters is not entirely unheard of in Southern history, of course. But history has also demonstrated that these tactics signal the desperation of impending defeat. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
We will not back down to these bully tactics. We will not surrender to intimidation. We will not give in or give up or move back or step off. We move forward together, not one step back.

Invite your supporters to track me down, Mr. Pope. Let 'em know I'm fair game for ridicule for joining nearly 500 of my North Carolina compatriots in principled action against your tyranny. Giggle at your clever middle-school prank.

You are desperate. Mean? Sure. Desperate? Undoubtedly. But winning the war of intimidation and dog-whistle threats? No. Not a chance.

Originally posted to MsSpentyouth on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE, DKos Asheville, Barriers and Bridges, The Rebel Alliance, and Hellraisers Journal.

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