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Demonstrators march through Chapel Hill in support of Baltimore

Posted May 2, 2015
Updated May 4, 2015

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— About 200 people held signs and chanted as they peacefully marched down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon in support of Baltimore protesters angered by the death of a black man in police custody.

June Beshea, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said she felt the need to do something.

"Watching what was happening in Baltimore really affected me to the point where I could not do my work," she said. "I was telling my friends, like, we have to get out, we have to show them we care. We have to do something."

Beshea, along with her friends, used the power of social media to coordinate a peaceful assembly. Beshea's friend, Mariah Monsanto, was one of the demonstrators.

"I define rioting as being mad because you lost a basketball game. I define what is going on in Baltimore as a revolution," Monsanto said. "Because the people that need to be covered are the people who are being murdered for no reason, and arrested for no reason, and profiled for no reason."

Whitney Witt, a mother from Chapel Hill, brought along her two young sons.

"I think it's really important that our sons grow up to fight for justice and to fight against these inequalities," she said.

Thousands of people have marched in cities across the country in recent days - cities including Durham, Boston, New York and Indianapolis - to protest the April 19 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

Baltimore's top prosecutor announced charges Friday against the six officers in the arrest of Gray.

Gray's arrest was recorded on cellphone videos by bystanders. His death has led to protests, rioting and looting in Baltimore.

According to police, no arrests were made during Saturday's march.

10 Comments

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  • Forest Hazel May 4, 2015
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    I'm sooooo glad to see that the folks in Chapel Hill had a march in support of Baltimore. Now everything is hunky-dorey in Baltimore and the Chapel Hillians have once again rid themselves of their guilt feelings by having performed an entirely useless act.

  • Lorna Schuler May 4, 2015
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    I am quite aware of the difference between the two.

    My comment was in reference to this quote by Ms. Mansanto -

    ""I define rioting as being mad because you lost a basketball game. I define what is going on in Baltimore as a revolution," Monsanto said...."
    She was basically saying she supports what the rioters did.

  • Ben Raynor May 3, 2015
    user avatar

    Pure stupidity... 3 of the officers were not white, so time to blame someone other than the whites.

  • Tammy Rush May 3, 2015
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    View quoted thread


    Please learn the difference between *protesting* and *looting*. Here's a clue: one is a constitutionally protected right that every U.S. citizen has, the other is a crime.

  • Jamal Jensen May 3, 2015
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    I don't think these people are stupid. They have been radicalized. Just pick up the Independent weekly. Every week the lead story is about how minorities are victims. Say a lie enough and it becomes their truth.

  • Lorna Schuler May 3, 2015
    user avatar

    So, it's ok to loot and destroy property of those who had nothing whatsoever to do with the cause of your concern, anger, dissatisfaction? That's a revolution.

    No my dear, that is wanton destruction and theft. And I might suggest that some of our so called "enlightened" youth/protesters actually pay attention to how the majority of Baltimore citizens really feel about what these looters did. There is a lot of coverage out there, quit picking and choosing to suit your agenda.

  • Lee Rogers May 2, 2015
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    YAY! It just wouldn't be the same if people in Chapel Hill and Carrboro didn't march in support of_____. Now things are gonna be ALL BETTER!!

  • Ronald Lee May 2, 2015
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    I wonder who those white liberals think are going to protect them once they destroyed the police?

  • Stephanie Lamm May 2, 2015
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    You've also spelled June Beshea's name wrong. And I believe "Monsanco" is actually Mariah Monsanto. But at least you spelled the white mom's name correctly.

  • Stephanie Lamm May 2, 2015
    user avatar

    The video you have for this story is not of the Chapel Hill march. It's inaccurate.