ben_jealous.jpgNAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP North Carolina State Conference President the Rev. Dr.  William J. Barber II and members of a coalition of more than 100 organizations will stage a mass rally Saturday, Feb. 12, to demand equality in education, economic justice and equal protection under the law.

The  demonstrators will march to the North Carolina State Legislature building for the fifth annual HKonJ (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) and People’s Assembly Mass Demonstration and March on the theme “Forward Together, Not One Step Back.”

A statement from the NAACP announcing the rally accuses “extreme right wing Local Tea Party-backed school board officials” of advancing an agenda of “neighborhood schooling” that would drastically reduce school diversity and roll back years of progress.

Like Arizona and immigration policy, the statement said, Wake County “is being watched by other states where efforts to restore segregationist educational systems are being considered,” the statement added.

The demonstration will feature an agenda highlighting the need for educational equality, economic justice, jobs, worker’s rights and equal protection under the law.

“Our fight in Wake County against re-segregation should be our fight throughout the nation,” Barber says in the statement. “We will never back away from our struggle to ensure that every child has access to a high quality, constitutional, well-funded and diverse public education.  We must also never retreat from our struggle for labor rights and a nation that keeps its commitment to the poor, two fundamental pillars of democracy.”

Added Jealous: “Separate but equal was wrong then and it’s wrong now. We cannot in good moral conscience separate the struggle for diverse and superior education from the struggle for jobs and economic solutions. We’ve got to fight for our children, for good schools, for good jobs, and for a great future for all people in our nation.”