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Protesters in Durham “Turned Themselves In” to Show Solidarity with Takiyah Thompson

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In the days since Charlottesville, cities across the country have taken steps to remove Confederate monuments. Baltimore removed all of theirs in the middle of the night earlier this week. And if you haven’t yet watched the video of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, who refused to wait on their city and toppled a Confederate statue themselves, I recommend doing so. It’s highly cathartic. Here’s a taste:

One woman, Takiyah Thompson (you can see her coming out from behind the statue in the GIF), was arrested for her part in the protest. She’s currently out on bail, but this morning, a group of about 200 people gathered outside the Durham courthouse to oppose her arrest. And many of them (about 50 by some accounts) also went full Spartacus and lined up to turn themselves in to authorities.

The discrepancies in how Thompson’s “crimes” (which include one charge of “inciting a riot”) are approached by law enforcement, versus those that preceded them in Charlottesville, are obvious and disgusting.

https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/898195326867312640

From the tweets of organizers and protesters, it sounds like the Durham Sheriff turned people away from turning themselves in for crimes, which seems … problematic.

https://twitter.com/Ruby/status/898167445399187456

https://twitter.com/Ruby/status/898176146809999362

I know there are a lot of people out there who are feeling helpless and don’t know what they can do about all the violence and injustice they see spreading like racist wildfire. Durham has just set itself up as a strong model for action. And you don’t even have to risk arrest if you’re not willing or able. Listen to these protesters chanting “Thank you, we love you” to those offering themselves up.

Those protesters are necessary voices to tell those spreading hate that “the future is now, and the future is not white supremacist Confederate statues.”

There are protests happening all over the country, but even if you aren’t able to join in person, you can stay informed–

https://twitter.com/unrulybabyhair/status/897839132793294848

–And you can support those who are there, on the ground.

https://twitter.com/unrulybabyhair/status/898272451011821568

https://twitter.com/unrulybabyhair/status/898275243646636032

Thank you to everyone in Durham, and everywhere else, fighting this fight.

(image: screengrab, Twitter)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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