Allen, the community organizer for Ignite NC, an activist organization aimed at social justice, was one of four protesters arrested while protesting Tuesday’s UNC Board of Governor’s meeting.
He said he and the other protesters have a longstanding history with the board and for many years have tried to foster a dialogue about its structure, representation and policies — to no avail.
“Now, as far as expectations, we’re looking to disrupt business as usual and reach out to encourage a dialogue — and make our displeasure with the decisions that have been made known by exercising our right to protest peacefully,” he said.
Department of Public Safety officers charged Allen, Olufemi Shittu and UNC seniors Jennifer Myers and Madeleine Scanlon with disorderly conduct and resisting and obstructing officers, said Joni Worthington, spokesperson for the UNC-system.
Scanlon was also charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer, Worthington said.
The protests began during a routine presentation from the educational planning committee, during which the board proposed cutting programs at East Carolina University, said board member Marty Kotis.
The protests were originally planned for the board meeting scheduled on Jan. 22 at N.C. A&T, which was rescheduled for Tuesday due to inclement weather.
Senior Shannon Brien said protesters were at the meeting to challenge a number of issues, including UNC-system President-elect Margaret Spellings. She said the arrests were frightening and unmerited, given the little warning protesters received from DPS. She said she was especially disturbed by Scanlon’s arrest, which was more physical than the others.