[image-1]Progressive activists across South Carolina will gather at the State House in Columbia next week for ‘Truthful Tuesday’ — an event styled after a series of protests at North Carolina’s capital dubbed Moral Mondays.
“It’s to really put lawmakers on notice regarding the need to expand Medicaid and protect voting rights and to fully fund public education,” says George Hopkins, a College of Charleston history professor and Charleston chapter president of the S.C. Progressive Network. “Hopefully on Wednesday the 15th the headlines across the state will read ‘Citizens Descend on Columbia’ to demand legislators take action on these issues.”
Legislators will return to Columbia on Jan. 14 to begin the second of a two-year legislative session. During the week the Legislature is in session Tuesday through Thursday. Last session, South Carolina became one of several states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act healthcare law. Lawmakers have also passed a Voter ID bill, and the last session saw efforts to curb early voting.
Members of the Truthful Tuesday coalition are meeting tonight at the International Longshoreman’s Association hall on East Bay Street at 7 p.m. to finalize their plans. Members plan to charter buses from the Lowcountry for the one-day event.
Organizations affiliated with the effort are the state chapters of the AFL-CIO, NAACP, National Association of Social Workers, Education Association and the Christian Action Council, according to a website TruthfulTuesday.net.
The Democratic Women’s Labor Council, Medical University of South Carolina health workers and other Charleston-based groups kicked in more than $2,000 for transportation, according to Mt. Pleasant attorney and Progressive Network member William Hamilton.
“I’ve never seen them dig that much money up so fast and throw it at something so hard before,” he says. “I think they’re angry. It looks like we’ll have at least three busses running from Charleston, maybe more, which is a lot more than we’ve ever done before.”
In North Carolina, the Moral Mondays rallies were ongoing events. Hopkins says the Palmetto State groups are planning for additional Truthful Tuesday rallies throughout the legislative session.
“We’re going to start slow and see how it goes,” he says.
Similar efforts have spread to Georgia and begin on Jan. 13.