What started as a mass email from UNC student activist groups calling for a rally ended as a march that stopped traffic for half an hour on Franklin Street.
Protesters carried orange hoodies, beat drums and held signs that read “Disarm the Police” and “Don’t Shoot” as they chanted “No Justice, No Peace, F— the Police” into the Friday night traffic. A protester also shouted “Michael Brown” to remember the unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by Ferguson police earlier this month.
The rally began at 7:30 p.m. at the Peace and Justice Plaza in front of the post office on East Franklin Street. Student groups involved included the Black Student Movement and the anarchist group UNControllables.
“The folks in Ferguson resisting police brutality and anti-black racism in their community asked people to stand in solidarity with them,” said UNC English and history double major Van Dellz.
“That is why this march is happening in Chapel Hill. It’s not just Ferguson, but the United States.”
Other speakers included members of the UNC Ebony Readers/Onyx Theatre poetry group, local residents and Sammy Slade, a member of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.
EROT member Jocelyn Byer performed a poem about violence against black men in the U.S.
“I always wanted daughters, because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to teach my sons how to be black men,” she said in the piece.