Local News

Peaceful assembly cheers, chants, marches through Chapel Hill

Posted June 3, 2020 4:07 p.m. EDT
Updated June 3, 2020 6:05 p.m. EDT

— About 500 people gathered Wednesday afternoon at McCorkle Place at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to listen to speeches before a march through the town. It was the latest protest driven by outrage over the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Most of those who assembled wore masks and many bore signs. After about an hour of speeches, the group marched peacefully, chanting, through town.

"I think it’s a great show of support for what’s happening in our state, our region, our country," said UNC Chief of Police David Perry. He said officers were present to be "the guardians who we said we would be when we took the oath to serve and protect."

Along Franklin Street, they chanted "No justice, no peace" and "Hands up, don't shoot."

Chapel Hill resident Allison Allaire-James said she turned out to protest, her first time, out of sadness.

"It’s heartbreaking what’s going on," she said. "I don't want to remain silent. I think the whole community needs to know that black lives matter and we need to stand up for what's right."

Durham resident Shy Freeman found power in the crowd.

"I think it’s so easy to see a post on Instagram and like it and go about your day. But to be here physically, with so many people who have the same ideals as you, it’s just really powerful," he said.

In the college town, Betty Curry was pleased to see students in the crowd.

She said, "To see the young people, is what I’m impressed by – white, black, all colors all out here fighting for Black Lives Matter."

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