Education

Protester arrested at Wake school board meeting has faced similar charges before

Posted March 24, 2010

— One of three protesters arrested at Tuesday’s Wake County Board of Education meeting was found guilty of the same offense several years ago.

Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 29, of Raleigh, was arrested and charged with second-degree trespassing Tuesday, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Court records show Strobino was found guilty of the same in Johnston County in 2005.

Some of the high school students who attended Tuesday's protest said Strobino helped to organize the demonstration.

Three protesters arrested at Wake school board meeting Three protesters arrested at Wake school board meeting

Strobino is linked online to the Raleigh chapter of FIST, which stands for Fight Imperialism – Stand Together. The group describes itself as young activists committed to fighting issues like racism, sexism and the exploitation of the working class.

Several postings on the Raleigh FIST Web site are attributed to a man named "Dante Strobino."

In a YouTube video, Strobino can be seen addressing worker's rights issues.

Strobino declined to comment when contacted by WRAL News Wednesday.

Peace College political science professor David McLennan said protest groups like FIST can sometimes hurt the effort they are trying to help.

"Sometimes their methods can undercut the cause," McLennan said. "They ratchet up the noise level."

The other two people arrested - Duncan Edward Hardee, 21, of Asheville, and Rakhee Shirish Vasthali, 21, of Fayetteville - were chanting outside of Tuesday's packed school board meeting.

They were each charged with one count of resisting, delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer, Sughrue said.

"It is sad. The last thing you want to do is arrest anyone," board chairman Ron Margiotta said.

Many local high school students were among the protesters expressing their opinions on the Wake County Board of Education's decision to work toward community-based schools in favor of the county's decade-old policy of assigning students to achieve socio-economic diversity.

147 Comments

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  • zande Mar 26, 1:12 p.m.

    The "FIST" folks were a very tiny minority of those who were there. I could not care less what they have on their website. They are a non-issue as far as I am concerned. The real story here is that hundreds of HS students thought enough and cared enough about their school that they showed up to defend it. The students I spoke with were from Enloe, Wakefield and other schools. They were well spoken, clean cut and well informed. It is too bad we are focusing on these other ppl who were really not even relevant. That is my point.

  • pf5151 Mar 26, 12:33 p.m.

    Hello Zande and soyousay
    I was not there. I watched on TV. The TV stations showed the noisy FIST folks dancing with high school kids. That is what they focused on.
    You really don't care what they have on their website? Or you agree with what they have on their website...
    I agree that this is a distraction from the neighborhood school issue, but when the media focuses on them to try and show lots of support against neighborhood schools, people should know with whom they are dealing.

  • soyousay Mar 26, 11:36 a.m.

    ZAnde...I SO got this wrong...you are abosultely correct...speeding through Starbucks leads to error....who I mean is PFS or whatever silly name he she has

  • zande Mar 26, 11:27 a.m.

    Again. I was there and saw the whole thing. The majority of the protesters were WC high school kids who were literally shut out of the meeting b/c they could not get tickets. The Board picked the least sympathetic ppl to arrest. They did not want to arrest the high school students or other parents who were also there b/c that would have been very bad PR.

    I don't care what these guy have on their website. The guys who were arrested were handpicked. I actually saw the Chairman and police pointing out who they should arrest. The point is this story is just a distraction from what really happened. Dozens of HS students stood of and protested their treatment.They were finally heard.

  • soyousay Mar 26, 11:22 a.m.

    This is the sort of agitators trying to drown out our school board while the board is trying to let my kids stay near home. And in the news reports there was video of our high school kids dancing with these FIST folks. FIST advocates killing people! Unbelievable.
    pf5151
    well you do know it's allowed...and personally I don't see a dime's worth of difference between that group and any of te right wingnuts advocating civil war our bill-paying capability. As for the board, it really reaaly doesn't matter, all teir machinations cost money, and I am not paying.
    By the way at lest the kid used his real name...how about you? of course this is all plat acting, now isn't it

  • pf5151 Mar 26, 10:09 a.m.

    If you google 'strobino cary nc' and click on the 1st web site you'll go to http://raleighfist.wordpress.com/
    You can download the FIST newsletter on the right hand side of the website.
    Amazingly the newsletter starts out with the line:
    "In the socialist countries of Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea education is considered a basic right."
    They are praising the human rights of North Korea! NORTH KOREA! Unbelievable.
    Among the other outrages are, on page 5 of the newsletter: they talk about the progress of the armed struggle and talk about how the Colombian FARC rebels killed a policeman and the Indian Maoist "In October they successfully ambushed a police patrol, eliminating more than 17 troops."
    This is the sort of agitators trying to drown out our school board while the board is trying to let my kids stay near home. And in the news reports there was video of our high school kids dancing with these FIST folks. FIST advocates killing people! Unbelievable.

  • soyousay Mar 26, 9:12 a.m.

    OK to protest, but do it the right way!
    Tax Man
    Please tell us what the right way is? Make up silly names and post comments here- or put yourself out there, publically, and take the consequences for it?

  • theartistformerlyknownasspeedy Mar 26, 8:38 a.m.

    So what you guys are saying is rich Cary parents have nothing to do with this story. Thanks for making my point.

  • ladyblue Mar 25, 6:30 p.m.

    suspect these particular guys were pulled out for arrest b/c they were NOT wake county high school students

    as well they should. these people are always causing trouble where they go and if they weren't from the coutny they shuoldn't be there.

    . Nowhere did I see him blame the rich Cary parents for the protester getting arrested. But of course, it sounds just like the twist Glenn Beck would put on something. What does he have to say about this whole thing rescue--- LOL... I was thinking the same thing but I was using Olbermann as an example of spinning twists.

  • give me no quarter Mar 25, 6:30 p.m.

    You can't fix stupid.

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