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On Thursday, President of the North Carolina NAACP, Rev. Dr. William Barber spoke to 300-400 Wisconsin progressives at the Bethel Lutheran Church. Earlier that afternoon, Barber joined a group of about 30 people who have been gathering outside the Capitol since the massive labor union protests against Scott Walker in 2011 to sing “labor rights songs.”

Barber is traveling around the country, with the hopes of “hooking up movements” to organize with the “Forward Together Moral Movement,” which he started in North Carolina seven years ago, that he says has now spread to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

I caught up with Barber after his appearance at the “Solidarity Sing Along,” where he compared marches for “fair housing” in Milwaukee in the 1960’s to the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, where police attacked civil rights protesters with billy clubs and tear gas, saying plainly, “Milwaukee is the Selma of the north.”

Barber said, “We have been inspired by what happened here in Wisconsin,” and the people who were outside the capitol singing, were not there because of party, but “because of principle.”

When asked about the differences of principles held by those in attendance at the sing along and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who he referred to as ventriloquist’s dummy, Barber said, “I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to talk about what they are doing here…The issues that we’re talking about is the difference between extremism that wants to go backwards and progressive common sense that pushes us forward…They’re coming together believing that there is a better way, that there is something better than having a public policy focus where the whole goal is deny public eduction, deny voting rights, deny women rights, deny public education, deny LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights, deny labor rights, but then promote giving people more guns and tax cuts for the rich and cutting opportunities.”

While championing progressive values, however, Barber failed to explain how those values have specifically helped solve the problem of economic inequality among the less fortunate communities across the country since the NAACP’s founding.

Here is the unedited interview Barber, along with some footage of the “sing along.”

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