Protesters storm NC state capitol as Republicans try to strip power from new Democrat governor
Protesters in the North Carolina State Capitol singing 'We Will Not Be Moved' (Screen capture)

Protesters sang, chanted and marched in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday to protest the state Republican Party's attempts to undermine newly elected Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper by sharply limiting his powers.

Raleigh News and Observer reporter Colin Campbell posted video of the protesters as they sang "We Shall Not Be Moved" and attempted to disrupt the current session of the Republican-led state Senate. The state GOP is penning a law that it hopes will cripple the Cooper administration before the new governor is even sworn in.

Politico said that state Republicans want to "reduce the number of state government employees Cooper can hire and fire at will from 1,500 to 300, strip the governor of the power to appoint trustees to the University of North Carolina and give it to the General Assembly, and require Senate confirmation for Cabinet appointments. Another proposal would shift control of one state office from the governor to the lieutenant governor — who will still be a Republican next year."

Cooper has threatened to sue the state Republican Party for what some Democrats are calling a "coup" against the incoming governor.

The public wants access to the GOP-dominated legislature's session, but have now been locked out. On Wednesday, Cooper said:

"We don’t want another disaster like House Bill 2. This is exactly why we had problems with House Bill 2, because they wanted to do it in secret. They’re major changes in North Carolina law. They deserve debate. They deserve deliberation."

Watch videos from the Senate gallery, embedded below: