Tag Archive: Durham

To Walk Out of the Church of Reconciliation: Reflections on Durham’s Third Anti-Police March, the Peculiar Alchemy of Skateboards and Flagpoles, and the Struggle as it Has Developed

marchjan19thFrom Anarchist News

by several anonymous participants

On the evening of Sunday, January 19th, the two-month anniversary of Chuy Huerta’s death, a crowd of around 150 gathered to express their grief, anger, and rage at the Durham Police Department. Like the previous two marches, the event was a kaleidoscope of faces, emotions, and desires. The sounds of skateboards on pavement mingled with the shouts of “Chuy Huerta, Presente!” Small paper signs were raised amongst massive black banners. The smell of road flares mixed with the sound of broken glass and hip hop blasting from a sound system built into an old shopping cart. After an hour or so of marching, the streets of Durham were littered with discarded black clothing as the crowd dispersed before a wall of riot police.

Some Background

On November 19th, 2013, Jesus “Chuy” Huerta was picked up by officer Samuel Duncan of the Durham Police Department after his family called the department looking for him. Instead of taking Chuy home as requested, the officer took him to headquarters for a minor trespassing warrant. Less than an hour later, Chuy was shot dead in the back of the patrol car. Reports both by DPD and the State Bureau of Investigation have ruled it a suicide, stating that Chuy had a gun that was not found during a search, and subsequently shot himself in the mouth with his hands cuffed behind his back. In the dramatic months following both Chuy’s death and the resulting street conflicts, the DPD has sought to corroborate this story by smearing Chuy as suicidal, drug-addicted, and involved in petty crime. This media tactic of criminalizing Chuy’s memory aims at de-valuing his life and obscuring the fact that had he been brought home rather than held in police custody, he would still be alive today. (more…)

We go marching for yesterday, tomorrow, and today

jesushuertaFrom Amplify Voices

for Jesus Chuy Huerta, Derek D. Walker, Tracy D. Bost, Jose A. Ocampo, and so many others lost.

“The police are the absolute enemy.” –Charles Baudelaire

“The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the class itself.” –Karl Marx

“Fuck the police, let’s hold court in the street.”–many

Since last we were in large numbers on the sidewalks and streets of Durham, much has been said and written about the marches of Nov. 22 and Dec. 19. Now, on January 19th, two months after Jesus “Chuy” Huerta died in the custody of the Durham Police Department, there has been a vigil called to commemorate Chuy’s life. There also is a march prior to the vigil, in order to be visible in our grief, anger, and collective power. We urge those who have not been to previous marches, and who maybe have been quick to criticize the nature of previous marches or who have just been late in recognizing the significance of these demonstrations, to come and demonstrate true solidarity.

It is telling that the vigil organizers have tried to separate themselves from the planned march in every possible way. It is telling in several ways, the first of which is because the Huerta family was supposed to have been the organizers of the vigil. But that was never the case, and it might as well be said. Yes, the church vigil is several things at once: It is the chance for a grieving family to memorialize their son, brother, uncle, cousin, at their preferred place of worship. But it is also quite an opportunity for certain groups and sectors of the population in Durham—let’s call them containment coordinators—to bring their prefabricated ideas to a situation they know little to nothing about. Durham Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods (CAN) and the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham (RCND) used language in the vigil invitation to make the vigil about their ideas and to effectively, and, they hope, decisively, contain the rage of the family and to thwart the active rage of young people—Chuy’s friends and peers—and put them back on the sideline where the masters of the city want them. The Huerta family is resolute, however, and so are the rebels young and young at heart who have stood their ground and stood up to the bullying police at the first two demonstrations. (more…)

JUSTICE FOR CHUY MEANS JUSTICE FOR ALL. March to the vigil!

chuy** MAS ABAJO ESTA EN ESPAÑOL**

Sunday, January 19th at 5:30pm in Durham

Exact start location TBA

Join us January 19th for a peaceful march that will mark 2 months since the death of our beloved brother, son, and friend: Jesús “Chuy” Huerta.

Chuy’s death has become a nationwide issue because of the demonstrations that have taken place. Please come and join those who have been in the streets from the beginning and let’s make this call for justice even stronger.

People from all ages and all walks of life are welcomed.

Chuy’s friends and family want justice for all the people affected by police violence. There can’t be reconciliation without justice. There can’t be reconciliation with an organized gang in blue that keeps our communities and children terrorized. There can’t be reconciliation with a police department that continues to criminalize the memory of Chuy Huerta and the lives of all of his peers. (more…)

Tazing incident in Durham 01/13/14

DurhamcopsAt 9:15pm on Monday, January 13th, a young man threw a bottle at a Durham Police car on the corner of Main Street and the Campus Drive underpass, off of Duke East Campus. He was chased down and tazed, but tore the electrical leads from his chest and continued running. He was then tazed three more times and tackled. Between 15 and 20 Durham Police cars responded, with assistance from Duke Police. Police on scene were overheard joking and laughing about the incident, comparing techniques for taking down suspects, and demonstrating baton strikes and punches. Paramedics declared the victim unconscious and loaded him into an ambulance. It’s unknown if he had a heart condition or if any complications arose from the tazing he received. Calls to the Durham Police, Sheriffs Office, Durham County Detention Facility and Duke Hospital gave no information on the victims name or state of health. More updates as we get them.

 

Solidarity shines brightly on New Year’s Eve

durham1From Amplify Voices

I think the protest on the 31st is an awesome idea. This jail is pretty messed up…It is as if it’s a game to them–’I wonder how much time I can take from them today?’ It’s pathetic.”–Durham jail prisoner

Me and my cell mate will be looking for you all on New Year’s Eve.” –another Durham prisoner

Prisoners at Durham County Detention Center saw and heard demonstrators on New Year’s Eve, as dozens of people joined together to drum, chant, dance, and light up the night sky and show their solidarity with those locked up in Durham and around the world. Carrying signs and banners with messages such as “Outside to Inside: You are not forgotten,” “Prison: Slave Ships on Dry Land,” “(Love) for All Prison Rebels,” and “Happy New Year to All Humans,” the demonstrators continued their percussion, dancing and skateboarding for nearly two hours, bringing tidings of love and rage to three different sides of the jail, to facilitate maximum exposure to inmates. In addition to the steady and raucous noise made by drums, pie tins, kazoos, and other noisemakers, a number of paper lanterns were launched into the night sky at different points in the evening, making for a beautiful scene and an apt metaphor: the fire of freedom burns strongly inside and outside for as far as the eye can see–and beyond.

“It was awesome,” a first-time New Year’s Eve demonstrator said afterward. “Everyone had a lot of energy, and the drums are really loud.”

(more…)

First Appearance For Last of The November 22nd Arrestees

november19th

Shahqeel, the only person arrested at the November 22nd march and protest to face charges, has his first court appearance this week. It’s obvious his charges are total BS and we’re all hoping his charges will be dropped.  It’s been decided that in order not to hinder the possibility of charges being dropped, supporters should not attend this court appearance. Another way to show your support is to donate to the legal fund for all those arrested at these protests.

Beyond Self-Care: The Subversive Potential of Care

selfcarepresentation and discussion:
Friday, January 10, 7 pm, Fellowship Hall, 719 North Mangum, Durham

Beyond Self-Care: The Subversive Potential of Care

In activist circles and beyond, it has become commonplace to speak of self-care, taking for granted that the meaning of this expression is self-evident. But “self” and “care” are not static or monolithic; nor is “health.” How has this discourse been colonized by capitalist values? Contributors to the recent zine Self as Other: Reflections on Self-Care will present on the political dimensions of care, illuminating how it can serve oppressive or revolutionary purposes. Taking the self as an object of political struggle, this discussion will ask how health and resistance are linked, and what forms of care might be be able to subvert systems of power.

Venue website:

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For January 2014 Is Now Available

january-2014-pol-priz-poster-draft-page-001Hello Friends and Comrades,

1) Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for January. This one marks the beginning of our fifth year publishing this poster every month! As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own.

Some News And Updates:

2) Lynne Stewart has been released! Democracy Now! was at the airport when she arrived in New York City and has extensive video coverage of her homecoming.

3) Locally police and politicians have been working hard to cover up the murder of 17 year old Jesús ‘Chuy’ Huerta. Days after the shooting, Chuy’s family, various community members, and activists held a march that drew international attention due to the police’s absurd claims that Chuy killed himself and the ferocity of the large march.  One month later the family called for a march and vigil to the site where Chuy was shot, which ended in chaos when police attacked the vigil. Predictably, the police and politicians are blaming “outside agitators” for everything while targeting youth of color for arrest.  Please contribute to the bail/legal fund to help all of the arrestees of the past two demonstrations.  We’re also asking for people who are able to contribute to the ‘Justice for Chuy’ memorial fund to help his family cover the costs of the funeral and all other related expenses. (more…)

Extremely Gross and Dangerously Stupid: a Response to City Councilman Steve Schewel’s Defense of the Durham Police

durhamby the Prison Books Collective

We would propose that Steve Schewel is not worried about the violence of his police force, whose members he seems to regard as big blue angels, but rather the possibility of a visible, popular, and confrontational opposition to that violence. How else can one interpret his statement that police violence must be ‘proportional to the situation’? Steve Schewel does not desire a Durham without police violence; he wants a Durham where that violence is institutionalized and managed in such a way as to be omnipresent but entirely invisible. The function of that violence, in turn, is to invisibly preserve in a hundred ways the world many of us already inhabit: poverty, addiction, racism, sexism, alienation, and despair.”

On December 19th, a group of about 200 people assembled at CCB plaza to march on Durham Police Department headquarters, with the goal of family members and friends praying at the stated site of Chuy Huerta’s death, and for all to be able to voice their outrage at the DPD. As the march began, candles were lit and roses were carried; two large banners joined many small signs. A diverse crowd of hundreds, not a mere handful of “agitators,” screamed “Cops, Pigs, Murderers!” and “No Justice No Peace Fuck the Police!” at the top of their lungs.

The family led the march to the DPD parking lot, but were met by fifty police officers who threatened to arrest them. The crowd of angry youth and friends encircled the family, using a wall of black banners and their bodies as protection while the family prayed at a makeshift shrine of candles and flowers. The police eventually forced them off the property, calling out a countdown over a bullhorn and threatening to storm the gathering. The group that returned to CCB plaza was undoubtedly incensed at the provocation, but was beginning to disband after exchanging contacts. The police, outfitted in riot gear, then charged the crowd in the park, tearing apart banners and hurling smoke canisters. People linked arms to slow down the charge while parents and small children escaped the park. Cops repeatedly struck retreating people in the back of the head and began to launch tear gas in downtown Durham. (more…)

Justice for Chuy! Donate to the Jesús Huerta Memorial Fund

chuypresenteDonate Here

On November 19th, at around 2 a.m., Jesús “Chuy” Huerta was picked up by police a few blocks away from home and taken to police headquarters. Shortly thereafter Chuy was found dead while in police custody because of a gunshot wound. Chuy was only 17 years old.

The shot occurred while Chuy was in the back of a police cruiser, at the police headquarters’ parking lot. Chuy had his hands handcuffed behind his back. The police have claimed that investigations are ongoing and that they can’t say anything until the investigation is complete; however, city officials and the department itself are already trying to build a narrative through the media that attempts to relieve them of any responsibility. They have claimed that Chuy died of a self-inflicted wound expecting us to believe that a person could shoot themselves with their hands handcuffed behind their back.

We seek justice and we seek answers to Chuy’s death. After the events were announced by the media, the Durham community, with the help of communities from other cities, quickly mobilized to provide support for the Huerta family. More than 300 people marched with the family on Friday the 22nd and many people came to us after the march looking for ways in which they could help. (more…)