Chapel Hill, NC: Police Attack Anti-Racist Potluck Collecting Canned Food at UNC

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Report from Defend UNC about the recent police attacks on demonstrators again last Saturday.

What happened tonight [September 8th] was a shocking display of mass police brutality against students and other locals such as has never before been seen in our town. Tonight, police from around the state tackled, assaulted, choked, and arrested people arbitrarily and without provocation. Police threw an explosive smoke grenade into a crowd, narrowly missing a nonviolent protester. At least one UNC undergraduate student was suffocated under a pile of police officers.

One arrestee, a student, recounts, “When I was dragged in, they threw me to the ground and then multiple police officers held me down with their knees pressing my face into the ground. I wheezed, ‘I can’t breathe,’ and they said, ‘Nobody cares.’ One arrested woman was crying as several officers screamed at her. Another UNC student was being screamed at as she said calmly, ‘I just want to know what’s going on.’ Shortly after, one police officer announced to the rest, ‘We need to figure out what’s going on here. Who arrested who and what are we charging them with?’ I’m not surprised they were confused, as from what I could see, our only ‘crime’ was being in their immediate vicinity when they decided to attack us.”

Police Violence and Arbitrary Arrests at Anti-Nazi Potluck

Today we hosted a "Nazis Suck Potluck and Food Drive." Police began the afternoon by confiscating our food drive; they ended it by violently shoving and arbitrarily arresting anti-racist UNC students and community members. If you would like to aid the arrested, please donate to: http://durhamsolidaritycenter.org/bondfund/ Click here to read the defendants' statment: https://www.facebook.com/DefendUNC/posts/238947423437816?

Posted by Defend UNC on Saturday, September 8, 2018

Throughout the evening, anti-racist protesters were antagonized by police officers brought in from as far away as Wilmington, Asheville, and Greensboro, and as close as the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Officers stole the canned food that anti-racist student activists were collecting to donate to the hungry and put it in chained recycling bins with as many as fifteen officers guarding each bin. The officers were armed with guns, pepper spray, and zip ties and carried gas masks. They refused to answer students’ questions about why they were confiscating cans and threatening students. Officers told media that they would return the cans to students, but did not return them.

When the eight arrests took place, there were no neo-Confederates on campus; they had left at least ten minutes earlier. Whatever safety risk the police believed themselves to be mitigating had passed. The police themselves were the only threat on McCorkle Place. They were undeniably the ones who broke the peace. They jogged toward a small group of protesters near the potluck table; when one young woman was frightened and began to run, the police arbitrarily tackled a young man nearby. As protesters asked for answers, police attacked them again, committing acts of violence unlike anything we’ve seen before on UNC campus.


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