Every year the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church organizes a procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe which moves through the surrounding neighborhoods. This year I grabbed my camera took some pictures.
In what’s becoming so frequent that it hardly deserves comment, protesters from Durham and elsewhere marched through town in response to recent grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson.
The only notable difference in last night’s actions was that the DPD actually managed to stop protesters from blocking the freeway altogether when they attempted to enter near Swift Avenue. Eleven people were arrested.
Earlier this week, the protesters headed south, disrupting traffic around Southpoint mall.
The 23,400 square-foot store opened in Parkway Plaza Wednesday morning with a variety of activities, including chef demonstrations, food samplings, coffee giveaways and drawings for gift cards.
Parkway Plaza is the shopping center off University near MLK, one block south of the Super Target (which is on the former site of South Square Mall). The Fresh Market promises to be the new anchor for the strip mall, which fell upon somewhat hard times following the loss of its anchors Food Lion and K-Mart.
I can’t find any mention of the opening on The Fresh Market’s own web site, and I’ve seen coverage only in the Herald-Sun so far, so I don’t know if they’re operating at full capacity / hours yet. If you get a chance to check it out, let me know about your experiences in the comments section.
Durham’s grocery store situation seems to really be on the upswing; this is at least the third grocery store to open since last fall (along with the Ninth Street Teeter and Compare Foods on Miami). The Durham Co-Op Market on West Chapel Hill St. is also slated to open in January.
[NB: this post has been and may continue to be substantially updated as new information is made available]
Protesters of the recent grand jury decisions, in addition to Chapel Hill anarchist groups, rallied in Durham on Friday night. After gathering in the CCB plaza, they eventually moved on to block the freeway, marching through the streets near the DPAC and the police station for hours before some thirty people were arrested following vandalism and failure to disperse. There was only minor vandalism and property damage, but after the events were over the DPD did find an unused Molotov cocktail near Foster and Geer.
I happened to spot a group of protesters from the lobby of the DPAC (John Oliver was pretty great, for the record, although apparently he re-used a lot of material from his last visit):
Note that the particular crowd in this photo appears to include the Chapel Hill groups I talked about previously, easily identified by their signature “cops are liars” banner.
It seems as if a group of Durham residents gathered at the CCB plaza early in the night, showing solidarity in response to recent events elsewhere in the country. They were joined by the Chapel Hill anarchists, and the two groups commingled. Following that, the combined group started marching, eventually blocking traffic and causing minor property damage.
I think it’s worth pointing out here that the Council has been really aggressive in addressing some of the systemic biases that have been identified in the DPD over the past year, and the new policy requiring written consent for vehicular searches is a powerful reaction to the problems in the department. The events following Huerta’s death really brought the issue of racial profiling to the forefront, and there’s been a pretty solid response to the concerns brought to the Council by community leaders, which you can read about in none other than the New York Times.
Oh, and I really dig the bike cop representation here. Way to stay fit and mobile at the same time, DPD.
Oh hey, the anarchists are back on tour in Durham! It looks like we’re in for another round of protests, this time ostensibly in response to the recent grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson.
A year ago Durham took to the streets repeatedly in protest of the police murder of Chuy Huerta. On Tuesday November 25th we marched with Ferguson, shutting down NC-147 in a broad effort at disruption. That was just the beginning. Please show up Friday night with all your rage and anger at this disgusting, racist system.
[nb: Huerta was determined to have commited suicide while in DPD custody, not to have been killed by police]
According to /u/madaminternet, the event is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday, December 5, at the CCB plaza downtown.
Note that these are the same “anarchist” groups who joined the protests following Jesus Huerta’s death last year, escalating things with the cops until, you know, tear gas and such. They also apparently shut down the Durham Freeway last week following the Ferguson grand jury decision.
Who are these guys, anyway? Well, the Internationalist Bookstore in Carrboro is the hub of their activity. The book store is associated with the web site prisonbooks.info, which posts various anti-establishment news articles. Although neither the book store nor prisonbooks.info self identify as “anarchists,” the UNControllables do; that group uses the book store as a meeting place.
So here’s my take: regardless of these groups’ public personae, there are elements within them which aren’t predominantly concerned with racial inequality in America, nor are they especially interested in peaceful protests in response to racial injustice. I think the goal of these elements is disruption, with anti-police rhetoric as the real message, as evidenced by the “no justice, no peace, fuck the police” stuff and the vandalization of police equipment during the Huerta marches.
There are a lot of people in Durham and across the country who are asking tough questions about race in America right now. These are vital questions to ask and it’s important for people to show up and express their concerns peacefully. But the anarchists and other fringe groups who plan to attend Friday’s event have a history of escalating confrontations with the cops, which isn’t the sort of behavior typical in events organized by the NAACP and other more mainstream groups.
That’s all to say that there’s a real risk that things might go off the rails again Friday. So be careful, and if you do wish to participate be mindful of who’s running the show this time.
[Update: I’m not clear on whether the UNC anarchists and prisonbooks.info are actually planning the overall protest, but they do plan to be there with bells on]
[Update again: I’m sure a lot of people who want to attend are legitimately concerned about recent events and won’t be there simply to goad cops and create conflict, but I remember what happened when these groups got involved last year. There are elements of the anti-establishment fringe who are likely to be there, and peaceful protests are not assured.]
Almost a year ago, people gathered in Durham to protest the death of Jesus Huerta, a teen who fatally shot himself while in DPD custody.
Today, a new round of protests has begun.
By my reckoning, there are two groups here. The first group, consisting of citizens expressing outrage and concern over the events which have transpired in Ferguson, MO, was some three hundred strong and gathered to peacefully protest at the CCB plaza.
The second group took a more disruptive path: they blocked traffic on the Durham Freeway while shouting a familiar chant: “No justice, no peace, fuck the police.” I feel like I’ve heard that one before… and even some of those signs look awfully familiar.
The second group made sure to swing by the DPDHQ, because, you know, that’s kind of their thing.
The good news at this point is that I haven’t seen reports of property damage.
It’s early yet, but at first blush this appears to mimic what happened following the Huerta case: a core group of peaceful concerned citizens, and a second group using that as justification for general anti-establishment agitation.
I’ll post more as I hear about it. I really do hope that things don’t get out of hand this time.
It’s that time again! The biennial strategic plan review.
Oh man, I can tell you guys are excited.
Anyway, every two years the city updates its “strategic plan,” a document which covers various aspects of running the city and how resources are allocated. This year, you can help steer the plan by filling out a survey. I don’t know exactly how long the survey will be up, but they’ve mentioned it running for “two months” – so my guess would be till the end of the year.
So, if you have ideas on how the city can better allocate its resources, go let them be known.
(Thanks to /u/omgpies for the reminder over on Reddit)