DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The defiant Duke University student protesters vowed to continue their fight against the school’s administration and said Friday afternoon they will move their protest outside.
The students have been occupying the Allen Building, the school’s central administration building.
The protesters emerged from the building late Friday afternoon and were greeted by the Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP.
“It’s so good to be outside!’ said one protester on a warm North Carolina day.
But the protesters continued to rail against what they called Duke’s “plantation politics.” They said the protests would continue and would grow.
“We are taking action outside!” one protester said. “Duke’s administration has realized this movement can not be contained, so we are moving outside. From inside Allen to outside on the quad.”
Another protester called Duke’s response to their protests “nebulous commitments” and said the concessions, announced earlier this week by President Richard Brodhead, were not enough.
The protesters concluded a news conference with a noisy chant, “I believe that we will win! I believe that we will win!”
In response, Brodhead said in a statement, “This afternoon the group of students who had occupied the Allen Building since last Friday voluntarily left the building.
“Though we have disagreed about the specifics of their demands and their choice of means, I respect their underlying passion for making Duke and the world a better place. The university renews its commitments toward advancing the causes of fairness and inclusion across this community, including for workers. I now look forward to our coming together in this important cause.”
The protest began after three top Duke administrators were accused of racism and discrimination against black and Latino workers.Protesters shortened their original list of seven demand to three. “We have not heard back from the university as to these demands unfortunately,” Fernelius said.
Dissension among students about the protesters’ tactics has emerged. “A lot of my friends have class in the Allen Building and they paid a lot of money for those classes” said Ben Baker, a Duke student. “They are being inconvenienced because they’re not able to go to class.”