NAACP says more civil disobedience could come to Charlotte

By Steve Crump - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For the city of Charlotte, it was a chaotic introduction to the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter.

Earlier this month, a community conversation about plans to rearrange schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district got heated, and two people were arrested, including the chapter's president.

No, there are new promises for more civil disobedience. We've seen it in Wake County, and in other parts of the country.

Charlotte has been spared this kind of drama, even though some in our community oppose the neighborhood schools concept.

On Tuesday, Reverend Kojo Nantambu an outspoken leader of Charlotte's newest civil rights group defended this more direct approach.

He said, "They were wrong. They were breaking the law. They were not giving us an opportunity to speak."

The Charlotte NAACP president claims things got out hand at the CMS board meeting when the public was no longer allowed to sound off on the subject of closing schools

"We had a right to be there. It was a public forum. That is the board of education, which all citizens pay for. We have a right to be there," according to Natambu.

WBTV News was in New York last year, when it was announced that Charlotte would reorganize an NAACP, after months of inactivity.

Over the last year, Reverend Kojo as he's called, was elected to head the organization, and one of the civil rights organizations local battles is seeking equity at CMS.

"Our greatest concern is that we make sure get an equal or equitable education and that they don't close down all of the schools," he said.

The local branch may be borrowing the civil disobedience page from it's state president Reverend William Barber.

In recent months, Barber was taken to jail in Raleigh, after protesting a student assignment plan for Wake County. Here in Charlotte, Natambu says future arrests could come.

"We believe in civil disobedience, non-violence civil disobedience, and if it takes that to get the attention of the board and this community. That is what we're going to use."

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