Group disputes claims by Raleigh, Durham mayors that ‘mostly white’ rioters caused damage in protests

Wake County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — While city leaders in both Durham and Raleigh publicly announced that “mostly white” rioters were behind the destruction at the Breonna Taylor protests within the last week, the anarchist group behind the protests argued on Monday this claim is not completely true.

A protest Saturday night in Raleigh ended with dozens of businesses with broken windows and graffiti on the side of their buildings. Just days earlier on Wednesday, 13 businesses in Durham were vandalized during a protest as well.

City leaders in Durham claimed that the group made up of 60-75 people, who were mostly white and part of an anarchist group, attempted to co-opt the racial justice movement for their own purpose. 

Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis said that the group’s intention was to come and cause destruction to businesses in downtown Durham.

The group behind the protests, Durham BURN (BIPOC Underground Resistance Network), which is a community of anarchists and abolitionists, rebuked city leaders claims that they are mostly “white” and that their intention was to co-opt the movement.

In a twitter message on Monday, the group said that BIPOC stands for “Black, Indigenous, People of Color” and they argued they are “part of the uprising for black lives and for abolition.”

While no arrests have been made so far following Durham’s protest, 12 people were arrested following Raleigh’s protest.

Half of those arrested in Raleigh were people of color, although police would not say if they were part of the group Durham BURN.

Minister Paul Scott, a Black nationalist from Durham, said he was there during the Durham protest.

“I could count the Black people I saw on one hand,” Scott said.

He added that a majority of those who participated in the Durham protest were white and he thinks the anarchist group was out there to push their own agenda.

“I’m insulted that under the guise of protesting a murder of a Black woman, they would use this tragic event to push their agenda,” Scott said.

Scott said it is important that the public know who the group is behind the destruction.

“People are always blaming violence on Black youth,” Scott said. “We have to make it clear it is not Black youth that are terrorizing these cities, it’s white anarchists.”

Both Raleigh and Durham police said they will not publicly discuss their tactics or anticipated responses to future protests, but they will remain committed to maintaining the safety of all participants and residents.

There is no word on when the next protest will be in either city.

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