Demonstrators arrested during NC General Assembly’s special session

(Photo: WNCN)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — People protesting Republican plans to limit Gov.-elect Roy Cooper’s power descended on the Legislative Building Thursday with longshot hopes of derailing the GOP legislation.

About 200 demonstrators led by the state NAACP filled a first-floor Legislative Building atrium on Thursday. They demanded loudly that Republicans accept the will of the voters in last month’s election and leave Cooper’s powers alone.

Several demonstrators were removed from the Senate gallery after repeated disruptions during floor debate.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, the Senate’s presiding officer, ordered the gallery above the floor be cleared Thursday afternoon after what he considered multiple disturbances.

Many spectators had laughed when a Republican made a comment about legislation that would merge the state’s elections and ethics boards into a panel evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Without the change Gov.-elect Cooper would soon appoint a majority of Democrats to the state elections board.

Demonstrators continued to chant in the rotunda of the Legislative Building after they were thrown out. Some arrests have been made, according to WAVY sister station WNCN.

The Senate went into recess for about a half-hour until they passed the bill along party-lines. The bill now goes to the Senate.