Protesters camp outside Fayetteville Market House, make demands of city, police
Posted July 9, 2020 5:03 a.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2020 6:09 p.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — Protestors camped out overnight in front of the Market House in Fayetteville with a list of demands for police and the city.
The group calls themselves "Ville’s Voice." On their Facebook page, they list five demands, including a community center and garden, a citizens review board and an internal affairs department separate from the police department.
The protesters, who said they were inspired by recent Durham protests, plan to stay in front of the Market House until those demands are met. They understand that they will likely be removed through arrest, which is part of the protest.
Trump supporter Sharman Tober exchanged jabs with the protesters Thursday afternoon, until they invited her over to sit down and have a conversation. They offered her a bottle of water and a chair and they talked about their differences.
"We're not black. We're not white. We're not red. We're not blue, green or whatever. We are human and until we realize we're human people and we have to live together as humans, you can't solve any of these problems," she said.
Mayor Mitch Colvin issued a statement that seems to align with one of the group's requests – that the Orange Street School be turned into a community center.
"There's been investment in other parts of the community. There's been a lack of investment in the minority communities. At the end of the day, that's the conversation that we need to have," he said.
Protester Myah Warren said, "I feel like we need more cities to do this. We need more cities to take a drastic stand to bring about the change that we want to see our in our community."
Warren said they plan to feed the homeless Thursday night.
On June 29, Fayetteville City Council leaders voted for a plan to remove the historic building after rioters tried to set it on fire in May. A Black Lives Matter mural was also painted around the building.
In the nineteenth century, residents of Fayetteville sold goods at the Market House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and has stood since 1832. It was also the site of trade, including the buying and selling of enslaved people, and of a skirmish during the Civil War.
The group was inspired by another group, the “Other America Movement," which has been camped outside the Durham Police Department for more than three weeks.
The group wants funding allocated for the police department redirected to benefit community resources.
WRAL News has reached out to the Fayetteville Police Department for a statement and has not heard back.