The recent spate of protests have spawned a new go-to tactic. Even a relatively poorly attended protest can shut down roads if they’re willing to put their bodies on the line. And that’s what happened during this May Day protest in Durham. This handful of protestors successfully blocked a downtown street.
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Or so they thought. The entire premise of the human roadblock is reliant on drivers who are willing to stop. When they’re not, the unwritten rules of the protest break down.
The man behind the wheel of this Dodge Ram must not have been given the rules ahead of time. He was on the road, one presumes, because he had somewhere he needed to be. And he wasn’t going to let a handful of protestors slow him down.
Actually, he did slow down. But reports from the scene say he didn’t stop. Instead he drove slowly through them, gunning his engine and pushing the protestors aside.
ABC11 had a news crew on site. The protest had temporarily blocked South Mangum Street in downtown Durham.
Christine Hawn, one of the on-sight “safety marshals” was shocked that the driver didn’t stop. “There were kids there and people with different mobilities that were not able to pick up and move.”
What were these people with “different mobilities” doing in the middle of the street? Protesting, of course, for higher minimum wages, and workers rights, and for immigrants and better treatment of prisoners.
The Dodge Ram, if this episode is any indicator, lives up to its name. That is it, in the image above, riding away.
There is a right and a wrong way to use your body as a speedbump. For those in Durham who may need a history lesson on how to block traffic, here’s an example: