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Occupy Durham marches in solidarity with Oakland, rallies against political repression

By staff |
November 3, 2011
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Banner says "We stand in solidarity with Occupy Oakland"
Durham march in solidarity with Occupy Oakland. (Photo by Rodrigo Dorfman)
Oakland: The World is Watching!
Rallying outside the Durham County Detention Facility
Protesters hold signs in support of Occupy Oakland. (Photo by Rodrigo Dorfman)
Rallying outside the Durham County Detention Facility (Photo by Rodrigo Dorfman)

Durham, NC – A spirited march of 35 people weaved its way through downtown Durham at noon on Nov. 2, making stops at the Durham Police Station, the Court House and the jail before rallying at People's Plaza.

Commenting on the purpose of the demonstration, Adam Pyburn of Occupy Durham said, "We're standing in solidarity with the city of Oakland and their decision to hold a general strike, their fight back against police and government repression. And we stand in solidarity with the people of Durham who have to fight that fight every day."

The city of Oakland was the scene of a violent police crackdown last week on Occupy Oakland that left an Iraq war veteran critically wounded and resulted in scores of arrests. In response, Occupy Oakland issued a call for a general strike and solidarity marches on Nov. 2. Occupy Durham heeded the call.

The protesters handed out fliers and received enthusiastic support from passersby. Some people joined in as the march passed through downtown, chanting, "Fired up, can't take it no more!" and holding signs against police brutality.

At the closing rally at People's Plaza, speakers spoke about Oakland, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Durham and FBI repression.

Justine Johnson, a speaker at the rally, told Fight Back!, “Barely two years after transit police murdered Oscar Grant, sparking widespread street protests in Oakland, the courageous people of Oakland are proving again the transformative power of masses of people taking to the streets. Today, the whole world is watching Oakland. As a participant of Occupy Durham, I supported today's march and rally. I marched to show solidarity with Oakland, to oppose police harassment and brutality in all communities and to fight for a new system that will liberate us all."

Joan Walsh, with the Triangle Committee to Stop FBI Repression, said, "The repression against the Occupy movement, the 2000 arrests in the last month, is political repression - just like the FBI repression that antiwar and solidarity activists are facing. It's repression used by the 1% against the 99% and those working for social change."