Last week, we reported that a group of mostly white protesters damaged about 40 businesses in downtown Durham during a protest calling for justice for Breonna Taylor. Earlier in the week, news broke the police officers that killed Taylor would not be indicted in her death.

Durham Mayor Steve Schewel accused the protesters of hijacking the social justice movement, which some activists rebuked—“The white person ‘co-opting the racial justice movement for their own purposes’ in Durham right now is Steve Schewel”—and which we also reported. 

“Usually agree with the INDY, but this piece is awful. What exactly are you trying to say?!” wrote Facebook user Christopher Boyce. “In this case I think the INDY’s and the city’s focus is just all wrong. We were seeing peaceful protests throughout most of the summer. Something has clearly changed and the focus now should simply be on protecting these downtown business owners from rioting and vandalism. The irony here is these very businesses have been supportive of the protests. Considering how they are already struggling through this pandemic, the last thing they need is this hair splitting around who did what instead of how what was done was wrong and how the city can stop it from playing out again.”

“Gentrification is violence towards black and brown folks most often,” wrote user Jef Gil. “We can debate tactics all we want but part of this seems to be calling attention to that. The gentrification process often results in increased police violence and harassment to get those they don’t want out. In part, Breonna Taylor’s murder was the result of increased policing in a neighborhood they undergoing gentrification.”

“‘Dear White People, Pretty please stay home so our goon squad can more easily arrest the folks they enjoy arresting. Thank you for your compliance – The Boots’ is all I took away from that” added Facebook user Schlop E. Joes

On Saturday, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin instituted a curfew in Raleigh ahead of planned protests. About a dozen protesters were arrested that night. 

“A better idea would be to not tear gas people,” wrote Scott Rooker. “I fart on your curfew Mary Ann Baldwin.”

“She will be making different decisions when they show up at her residence,” wrote Clay Culpepper. “Then [she] would understand what it is like to have a business downtown. Oh that’s right if she hasn’t figured it out by now she probably [won’t]. Election time we will remember.”

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