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.]