- Attendance was hard to gauge, but it appeared that between 100 to 150 people showed up.
Bree Newsome, of SC flag pole climbing fame, was spotted at one point.
Most of the people in the audience appeared to be affiliated with one or more of the organizations who appeared to have had representatives in attendance:
Black Lives Matter
Durham Beyond Policing
Durham People's Alliance
Durham Solidarity Center
Fostering Alternative Drug Enforcement Coalition (FADE)
Moral Monday's "NC Vote Defenders"
Occupy Chapel Hill
Workers World Party
- Note: Many of the organizations are front groups or offshoots of another group. Many of these groups are funded by the same organizations through one manner or another, which include: The Tides Foundation, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the Highlander Center.
FADE is an offshoot of the Durham Second Chance Alliance (DSCA). In turn, the DSCA is funded and run by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Action NC.
Durham Beyond Policing appears to be tied to a group called Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).
- The event was posted to Facebook by Durham Beyond Policing: https://www.facebook.com/events/299600530381438/ …
- Apparently, these groups are upset that the Durham Police will be getting a new headquarters costing "$71 million".
The current headquarters building was built in 1957. Officials say it has become too small, is one of the most expensive city buildings to maintain and does not have the capacity for modernization needed by the Police Department.
Info on the new complex can be viewed here.
The speaker above is allegedly Desmera Gatewood. Gatewood organized the January Black Lives Matter protests in Durham and is affiliated with the NC NAACP's 'Moral Monday'.
In her comments, Gatewood says that the Durham Police headquarters should be stopped because, "Police have represented a culture of intimidation" and have "terrorized generations of women, black women, trans women...".
- The protesters were also upset that the Durham Police departments funding, citing the figure of "$60 million".
According to the Durham Budget and the estimated overall Durham budget is $404.9 million dollars.
In 2015, Durham saw 42 homicides and a sharp spike in violent crime. Less than halfway into 2016, violent crime in Durham is up 7% over the rate in 2015 and the number of homicides has increased by 10%.
- Durham City Council member and Liberal activist, Jillian Johnson, made sure to tweet out who to follow on Twitter:
- "White protesters" were allowed to participate in accordance with the "Guidelines for White People" that accompanied the Durham Beyond Policing Facebook Event invitation.
- The usual Black Lives Matter events took place -- blocking traffic and chaining themselves to the police station.
- The chaining together of various 'protest leaders' was accompanied by the drumming of Batala Durham.
- Protesters performed a "skit", demonizing law enforcement while young children in the crowd watched:
- In the second half of the "skit", protesters included one participant allegedly portraying Governor Pat McCrory. This person wore a top hat with what appeared to be a likeness of an ass on the front of it. In other words, it was an 'ass hat'.
- According to Lamont Lilly's profile on Twitter, he is a "Writer. Activist. Organizer. Revolutionary." and is the "2016 Workers World Party U.S Vice-Presidential Candidate".
The Workers World party (WWP) is a communist organization that was founded in 1959 in the United States. WWP was a split off of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), led by Sam Marcy.