Eight anti-racist freedom fighters will head to court on January 11, 2018, in Durham, North Carolina, each facing several felony and misdemeanor charges.
Their charges stem from their participation in the courageous peoples’ removal of a Confederate monument on August 14, a bold response to the ‘Unite the Right’ white supremacist rally held just two days earlier in Charlottesville, VA. Heather Heyer, an anti-fascist activist, was killed and many others were injured when a neo-Nazi plowed his car into the demonstration – in addition to those hurt in other physical attacks by these forces against the protests throughout the day.
They are issuing an urgent call for renewed solidarity and pressure on the Durham County District Attorney and political officials to say:
This is an embarrassment to Durham, Stop Prosecuting Anti-racist Heroes and Drop the Charges!
January 11 will be a critical day in the struggle that has unfolded in the aftermath of the toppling of the statue. After enduring months of court hearings, the activists expect that this will be the first day of the trial on the charges against them.
Here’s how you can join the national week of action Jan 8 – 14:
- Jan 10 – 11: National Call in Days & Social Media Blitz
- Jan 13: Attend the People’s Tribunal OR watch and share online
- Organize a solidarity action – tell us about your action here
- SEND a video for the Defend Durham Video Challenge
- Make a donation to the support the upcoming ‘Toppling Racism – Do it Like Durham’ National Speaking Tour AND sign up to host an event here
- Send a solidarity message to firstname.lastname@example.org
- WATCH highlights from this inspiring documentary on the Durham struggle
Jan 10 – 11: National Call in Days & Social Media Blitz
Durham County DA Roger Echols: 919-808-3010
Durham Mayor Steve Schewel: 919-560-4333
Durham County Commissioners: 919-560-0025
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper: 919-814-2000
On August 14, 2017, in the wake of fascist violence in Charlottesville, anti-racist fighters in Durham tore down a confederate statue because the state of North Carolina refused. They now face felony charges for their righteous action. Tell District Attorney Roger Echols & Durham officials: Tearing down white supremacy is not a crime!
Sample Social Media Posts
On Aug. 14, Takiyah Thompson climbed a confederate monument and invited Durham to choose what side we’d be on: the side of freedom and liberation or the side of white supremacy and oppression. Durham chose freedom and liberation and pulled down the racist confederate monument that has been terrorizing Black and Brown people in front of the old courthouse since 1924. http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
Since then, Takiyah and several others have been fighting felony and misdemeanor charges connected to the statue toppling. On Jan. 11, these brave anti-racist fighters return to court for trial. Will you stand in solidarity with Takiyah and the #DefendDurham arrestees? Learn more here about the national week of action to demand that all charges be dropped! Fighting white supremacy is not a crime! http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
Sample Tweets (max 240 characters, should include #DefendDurham hashtag)
Takiyah Thompson & remaining 7 #DefendDurham arrestees heading into trial THIS Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Check out how you can support their defense here http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
Toppling white supremacy is not a crime! Here’s how to show up for Takiyah Thompson & 7 others facing charges following the righteous takedown of a confederate monument http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/ #DefendDurham
White supremacy is the real crime! Takiyah Thompson & Durham took righteous action following the gathering of white supremacists in #Cville. Here’s how to take action to support these anti-racist fighters heading into trial this week http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/ #Defend Durham
.@NC_Governor Roy Cooper says all confederate monuments should come down. Durham agrees — so let’s drop the charges against Takiyah Thompson and anti-racist fighters facing charges for the people’s removal of a confederate monument! #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
.@NC_Governor Roy Cooper, join the call to demand all charges against Takiyah Thompson & 7 other anti-racist fighters be dropped! Learn more about how people are taking action across the country to #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
.@DurhamSheriff Mike Andrews wants to neglect jail deaths & witchhunt organizers fighting white supremacy. We say the Sheriff commits the real crimes this week as Takiyah Thompson & 7 other anti-racist fighters return to court for trial. Take action to #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
.@DurhamSheriff Mike Andrews says get back–we say fight back! Drop the charges against Takiyah Thompson & anti-racist fighters in Durham. Find out how to take action this week to #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
.@DurhamCounty Commissioners, which side are you on? Fighting white supremacy is not a crime! Drop the charges against Takiyah Thompson & other anti-racist fighters facing charges following the people’s removal of a confederate monument. #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
Solidarity actions are happening all across the country this week as Takiyah Thompson & 7 other anti-racist fighters return to court for trial this Thursday, Jan. 11. Here’s how you can help #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
Drop the charges and remove all racist, confederate monuments! Durham showed us the way; now let’s show up for Durham. Here are solidarity actions you can take to support Takiyah Thompson and 7 anti-racist fighters facing outrageous charges #DefendDurham http://doitlikedurham.org/janweekofaction/
Defend Durham Solidarity Video Challenge!
Thursday, January 11, Takiyah Thompson and seven anti-racist freedom fighters return to court to begin trial. They have been charged in connection to the toppling of a confederate monument in Durham, two days after the deadly racist “Unite the Right” terror of Charlottesville, VA.
Solidarity events and actions are being organized across the country in support of these brave organizers. In addition to call-ins to the sheriff, district attorney, and county commissioners, mass tweets and facebook posts, we are inviting allies to join the #DefendDurham VIDEO CHALLENGE!
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO :
Step 1: Get your phone or video recording equipment out, get in your movement swag (or whatever works for you- you already look good!)
Step 2: Press the “record” button and make a 30 SECOND video about why YOU #DefendDurham and stand in SOLIDARITY with these freedom fighters. Make sure to demand that ALL CHARGES ARE DROPPED!
For example: “I Defend Durham because we deserve to live in a community where we are free from oppression and the symbols that celebrate oppression! I stand with Takiyah Thompson and all freedom fighters facing charges for their brave actions. Drop the charges! Smash white supremacy!
Step 3: Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or another one of your favorite platforms! Make sure to include the hashtag #DefendDurham and TAG at least FIVE of your friends to join you in the video challenge.
Optional step 4: Please send your raw footage (meaning the video that isn’t uploaded online) to Press@DefendDurham.org if you’d like for it to be included in a video recapping all of these solidarity messages!