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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina General Assembly police arrested six people after a group began chanting in the gallery of the state House minutes before the start of a civil rights rally.

Among the people escorted by police Tuesday were the Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and second vice president the Rev. Curtis Gatewood. The association had scheduled a protest for the Legislative Building auditorium because its leaders accuse the new Republican leadership of harming the poor and minority groups.

Barber said House Speaker Thom Tillis has refused to meet with him. Tillis said on the House floor that Barber’s group had canceled the meeting.

It wasn’t immediately clear if they would be charged in connection with the protest.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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