‘It went beautiful,’ Hundreds at Durham protest remain peaceful Saturday

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Hundreds protested in downtown Durham Saturday afternoon for more than six hours then returned to protest later in the evening.

Along with the chants, songs, and signs, organizers made the protest a chance for people to be heard.

“Every voice should be heard. They might have a little bit of insight, they might have a little message for all the different people out here, so I think they deserve to speak,” said one of the organizers Skip Gibbs.

The group regularly formed circles between marching. They allowed anyone to share their thoughts, pains, and frustrations on what is happening in our country.

“We are already traumatized,” one protester said. “The point is how are we going to go and leave this earth and know this is going to go on with the kids here. The point is the kids got to wake up and still understand they can have a [explitive deleted] knee in his neck.”

The protesters talked about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and problems with police brutality and racial profiling.

“We feel like it’s not right, what happened, why are we getting hurt for no reason? Because of skin tone?” said one protester.

“When we start thinking about where we go from here, our only question needs to be how are we going to come together?” said another protester.

Police blocked off the streets around the group. Officers led their march at points and followed behind.

There were anti-police chants, but there were no clashes between officers and protesters.

“You can protest and you can be civil and still complain or criticize against your government, so I fought really hard to make sure everyone stayed peaceful,” said Gibbs. “It went beautiful. Anytime you have solidarity like that, especially in a melting pot like Durham, it’s always a good time.”

Several speakers asked for the passion to not end here. They want the conversations and push for change to continue with police, community members, family members and lawmakers.

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