Five arrested in downtown Raleigh protest

Posted March 24, 2016
Updated March 25, 2016

— Five people were arrested after protesters blocked North Blount Street in front of the governor’s mansion in downtown Raleigh Thursday evening in response to Gov. Pat McCrory signing the state discrimination bill into law Wednesday night.

Jade Brooks, 30, of Durham, Salma Mirza, 28, of Durham, Ngoc Tran, 20, of Durham, Jessica Jude, 27, of Durham, and Noah Rubin-Blose, 32, of Hillsborough, were charged with impeding the flow of traffic and with resisting, delaying or obstructing officers. All five were transported to the Wake County Detention Center.

Officials said the arrests were made after the five protesters, who chained themselves to one another in the middle of the street, refused to disperse.

All five protestors were released on a written promise to appear in court on Monday.

The law codifies a statewide nondiscrimination policy in employment and public accommodations, excluding gays and lesbians from protection, and prohibits North Carolina cities or towns from enacting stricter guidelines.

A small group of people in the middle of the protesters that showed up on Wednesday night were one-by-one arrested and carried away.

"All of these people are angry. They are upset," said Micky Bee of the Transgender Law Center. "They have been left out of the democratic process."

Republican backers say the bill is about public safety.

Elizabeth Clements said she is not directly affected by the law, but she traveled from Charlotte to stand alongside the protesters.

"Our communities are strong, our communities are resilient, and our communities want solutions that include them," Bee said."This is hate and bigotry."

Opponents of the bill say it eliminates many other discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

“Standing with North Carolina parents who are worried about the privacy and safety of their children will always be a top priority for the governor, no matter the spin by the media, pundits or politically correct crowd,” said Ricky Diaz, deputy campaign manager of communications for McCrory.

The legislation was in response to an ordinance passed last month by Charlotte City Council that determined how business treat LGBT customers and included a provision that allows transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.


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  • John Lobenstein Mar 26, 2016
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    Oh the horrors. Special snowflakes upset that nobody will hold their hand(s) and escort them from one safety bubble/space to another.

  • Steve Zeh Mar 25, 2016
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    The EEOC is responsible for enforcing title VII federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
    Their legal position in regards to transgender employees.
    In title VII of the civil rights act discrimination against an individual because of gender identity, including transgender status, or because of sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII. For more information about LGBT-related sex discrimination claims, for more information see http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/enforcement_protections_lgbt_workers.cfm.

    They cannot deny an employee equal access to a common restroom corresponding to the employee's gender identity without being subject to discrimination claims.

    In terms of HB2, federal law will take precedent and NC will be sued for discrimination.

  • Malakai Bluebone Mar 25, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    You're right, it is about safety. It is about the safety of women who want to use the restroom without a man standing there watching them just because the man says he identifies as a woman. It is about that mans safety when I see a man try to walk into a women's restroom that my wife or child is in. Let the normal rule guide you, if you look like a woman, use the women's restroom. If you look like a man, use the man's. If you feel different than that, go find a port-a-john.

  • Melvin Denis Mar 25, 2016
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    This law is about public safety all right. Forcing those who have trans gendered to women and dressed as women assures that they will be attacked. I have never read a single news report of assault problems in public restrooms. This state has gone crazy. Public event planners will be eliminating this as an event friendly state.

  • Chance Loria Mar 25, 2016
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    I believe you're COMPLETELY missing the point. Nobody is saying that LBGT community would be committing the crimes. They're saying it would leave the door completely open for sexual predators to say "Well officer, I was in the lady's bathroom with the little girls because I was identifying as female today. There's nothing you can do about it because the law now says I can be in there with the little girls. How can you PROVE I wasn't identifying as female today?"

    Personally, I believe it should be based on anatomy. But that's just my belief.

  • Chance Loria Mar 25, 2016
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    I am completely perplexed as to how this keeps getting blamed on the republicans. The republicans did what they were expected to do which was represent those with conservative values. The Democrats did NOT do what was expected of them. They did NOT represent those with liberal values. They made a decision NOT to vote thereby making sure the vote passed.

    Stop blaming the republicans for doing the job they were elected to do. Start questioning the Dems for NOT doing the job they were elected to do.

  • Rob Dunham Mar 25, 2016
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    Boy what a group of comments I have just read. This law was not just about bathrooms the Republican's attached other pages to it. Let me ask this of you people against the rights of all people. What if your son or daughter comes out gay or transgender, will you say to the transgender one oh man up and go to the men's room to see them beaten to death or raped or go on woman up and go to the women's room to only have her arrested and tossed in jail. This bill allows companies to discriminate on a select group of people, business can deny my right to eat, drink and yes even ordering a cake. I have been discriminated against for so many years and I wish I had the power to group you negative people and force feed you for at least 30 days of what I have had to live through. Take away your rights for 30 days and then see how you feel.

  • Ron Corey Mar 25, 2016
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    Wow. People in NC will get out and protest and debate where to go take a dump or pee, but won't get out and demand better labor laws or better wages or that companies bring back pensions and better benefits. Transgenders that ACTUALLY appear to be of the sex that they identify with probably will never be questioned when they enter the associated restroom of their choice anyway so this debate is such a waste of time. What a bunch of garbage in an election year to get peoples minds off of what is important!

  • Hamilton Bean Mar 25, 2016
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    That the protesters have a right to march, carry signs, etc. to express their opinions is unquestioned. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT ABSOLUTE. As with the other rights contained in the Constitution, there are limits. When your protest begins to interfer with the rights of others to go about their daily business, and if the protesters are dumb enough to sit down in the middle of a busy street--well, their ignorance makes them prime candidates to become part of the tread on my trucks front tires. Just sayin'.

  • Matt Nickeson Mar 25, 2016
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    Good. You illegally block a thoroughfare then you should be arrested and removed. Certainly, if you feel an injustice has been done then protest. Your unhappiness with a certain thing doesn't give you the right to break the law and inhibit others use of public spaces.