Local Politics

Protesters interrupt Durham City Council meeting

Posted December 18, 2014
Updated December 19, 2014

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— Singing and chanting “black lives matter,” a group of protesters interrupted a Durham City Council meeting Thursday to vocalize their feelings about race relations and recent tensions between residents and law enforcement.

In addition to chanting, one of the protesters read aloud the names and short biographies of various black civil rights figures.

The protesters wanted city leaders to know they were all from Durham, and many said they take issue with the Durham Police Department's findings that some recent protests were organized by anarchist groups from Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

After speaking, the group immediately left the meeting. About an hour later, Mayor Bill Bell addressed what happened.

“We could have very easily have said, ‘Look, you are out of order. Police, let's move them out of here,’ but that is the type of confrontation some people wanted,” Bell said. “There's been talk about having a conversation. Well, the person you might want to have a conversation with, they came in, said what they wanted to say and left. Who are you going to have the conversation with?”

Some of the protesters had to appear in court almost immediately after the demonstration because they face charges brought against them after a Dec. 5 protest.

Bell said he fully supports people expressing themselves, but there are rules of conduct for protests in the city, and people must follow them.

The rules bar protesters from Durham Police Department property, including parking lots and grass around buildings. They also prohibit people from wearing masks, hoods or otherwise concealing their identities during a demonstration and from using fireworks or other pyrotechnics during a march.

Protests also must be held during daylight hours and only after organizers have obtained a city permit.

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  • Amy Johnson Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    What time was the city council meeting?????????

  • affirmativediversity Dec 19, 2014

    JACKJONES2NC stated, "Perhaps you've missed the 12 year old boy in Cleveland shot dead in seconds by police. The boy broke no law other, but was black in public."
    ---------
    Here is a sad example of someone ignoring facts that could really help to have the correct lesson learned...
    That young boy in Cleveland wasn't just standing around innocently looking "in public"...he was waiving around, in what looked like a threatening manner, air-soft gun that he or someone he knew had purposely altered by removing the "CAUTION ORANGE" tip so that it looked like a very real hand gun.
    Now was the death of this young boy tragic...absolutely! He was acting purposely provocative (threatening) or was he just playing at "gangsta" like he sees on 100's of music videos/games/TV shows...maybe...
    BUT, how was the police suppose to tell the difference in the very few seconds they had to make what could have been a life or death decision for themselves and innocent bystanders?

  • Olenc Native Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Let's recall the townhall meetings of 2010, hmmm?

    Oh and I'm liberal, and I don't agree with these protestors.

  • 68_dodge_polara Dec 19, 2014

    “There's been talk about having a conversation. Well, the person you might want to have a conversation with, they came in, said what they wanted to say and left. Who are you going to have the conversation with?”

    If these folks don't think they shouldn't have to listen to police officers they certainly aren't interested with what any one has to say but their own yelling.

  • Trekker Dec 19, 2014

    Mayor Bell says they need to follow the rules and they want police to follow the law or be held accountable. Perhaps they can see a compromise somewhere in there.

  • Ty Shrake Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    The empty barrel makes the most noise...

  • Jack Jones Dec 19, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Perhaps you've missed the 12 year old boy in Cleveland shot dead in seconds by police. The boy broke no law other, but was black in public.

  • affirmativediversity Dec 19, 2014

    Was this the same Durham City Council meeting where the big thing on the agenda was "officially aiding illegals"?

  • keithjinnc Dec 19, 2014

    People with way too much time on their hands! Bottom line, obey the law, and if you are one of those people who cannot obey the law or refuse to obey the law, be prepared to get arrested! When you do get arrested don't resist....if you cant do the time, don't do the crime!

  • TiminNCisBack Dec 19, 2014

    What gets me is that our local politicians have to see the impact this is having on local business and they are not cracking down on this more. We have been warned to stay away from down town and have only been to the malls during day light. We use to love to go down town to eat and catch shows but it will be a good while until we feel safe down there again.

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