Protesters hit up downtown, block the Durham Freeway again (Updated)

[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.

8 thoughts on “Protesters hit up downtown, block the Durham Freeway again (Updated)”

  1. Yes, John Oliver was great, but the material was almost the same as at his show here last year. The bikes were there to function as a barrier and to look eco-fitness-friendly in the process. I’ve just stumbled onto your site for the first time and I can’t shake off the impression that you are a shill.

  2. I feel like they’re really getting their point across by repeatedly blocking the freeway. It really shows people that they’re serious about the environment. Our car commute culture is really driving climate change and until we start carpooling, using mass transit, and designing more fuel-efficient vehicles all we’re doing is trashing our planet.

    Oh wait, this was about something else?

  3. Jeremy, I think you’re off base here. I bumped into the crowd at DPAC and followed them for a while (you can see my photo album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/87336689@N03/sets/72157649631027645/ ). Sure, there were some anarchists, because they come to every protest, no matter the cause. But most of the people had come to protest the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. It was a very mixed crowd, including several families. A lot of people joined along the way too.

    1. I’m definitely getting a better picture of what happened after the bits that I saw personally. Thanks for the info. I’m going to keep updating this post as more news shows up throughout the day.

    2. Hey Adam! My name is Andrea Patiño and I am working on a piece about Friday’s protest for a journalism class at UNC. I was wondering if I could get in touch with you to potentially use one of your photos. It is only for class and not for publication. Thank you in advance!

  4. Where does it say they broke stuff? The article you linked said “Overall, the protest was peaceful […] No one was hurt and there were no reports of significant property damage.” and ” Overall, protests in the Triangle have been vocal but not disruptive.”

    I like your posts on other topics but your comments about these protests seem keep to pushing this “outside instigator” theme, as if people in Durham cannot themselves be outraged over police brutality enough to protest.

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