Hundreds of protesters marched down Main Street in downtown Durham on noon Friday, chanting “No KKK, no fascist USA.” Some carried banners that read “We will no longer be intimidated.” Others carried “Black Lives Matter” signs.
Rumors of a white supremacist rally triggered cautions from Durham County officials and caused some county offices and businesses to close early or not open at all, according to published reports.
But by late afternoon, the rumored KKK rally had not happened and some counter-protesters were starting to leave the downtown area.
The Durham County Sheriffs Office released this statement:
“The Sheriff’s Office is thoroughly researching the potential of several groups with opposing viewpoints holding demonstrations in Durham. This is partly why the Sheriff’s Office continues to remind demonstrators to first obtain a permit and most importantly, abide by the law. I expect demonstrators to conduct themselves in such a manner that is legal and respectful of the Durham County community. Again, I call upon city and county leaders to establish rules for demonstrators.”
City Manager Tom Bonfield said he is unaware of any permit being obtained for a march, but some downtown businesses are closing and a county worker confirmed the county’s administrative offices at 200 E. Main St. closed at 10 a.m., reports The Raleigh News & Observer.
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) August 18, 2017
Police have blocked the road in front of the old Durham County Courthouse at 201 E. Main St. ahead of a rumored white supremacist protest, reported WRAL.com, which is following the demonstrations with a live report.
— WRAL NEWS in NC (@WRAL) August 18, 2017
Video: WRAL’s Sky 5 is live over downtown Durham where there are rumors of a planned rally by white supremacists.