The teachers that make up Organize 2020 held some protests that began with around a dozen teachers making a 2-day, 20 mile walk from Durham to Raleigh. According to the N&O, the march was “co-sponsored by Organize 2020, a grassroots organizing group, CAPE, and the Education Justice Alliance.”
When the walkers arrived yesterday afternoon, they were joined by other protesters including some from the NC NAACP’s Moral Monday. Reverend Barber was there, shouting the usual things, however he was not arrested.
The group then banged on the doors of the Governor’s offices yelling ‘serve us’ and ‘HB 2’:
— Michael Hyland (@MichaelWNCN) June 15, 2016
It is unclear from multiple news videos taken on the ground what they were actually protesting about, however there is a blog post on the Organize 2020 website blames the Islamic terror attack in Orlando on HB 2.
What is clear is that drivers were annoyed as the Organize 2020 protesters began blocking traffic. Horns were honking – loudly. They then began sitting down in the middle of Morgan street in downtown Raleigh during rush hour.
— Michael Hyland (@MichaelWNCN) June 15, 2016
The only charges posted against those arrested were ‘impeding flow of traffic’ and ‘resisting an officer’.
13 of the 14 Arrestees were located via Wake Mugshots and are listed below with where they teach and other information. WCPSS is short for Wake County Public School System.
- Kristin Michelle Beller (Wake NCAE Board of Directors/Vice-Chair 2020 Caucus, WCPSS)
- Jessica Ferra Benton (Special Ed Teacher, SJW, WCPSS)
- Carrol Christine Olinger (Retired, Cumberland)
- Alexa Stambler Goff (Club Boulevard Humanities Magnet Elementary School, Durham)
- Lisa Ann McCool-Grime (Southern School of Energy and Sustainability, Durham)
- Leah Nicole Hendershot (Guilford)
- Donald Geofry Parker (Teaching Asst., Orange)
- Turquoise Parker (Eastway Elementary School, Durham)
- David Bryan Proffitt (Hillside High, Durham)
- Alyssa Breann Putt (Neal Middle School, 6th grade, Durham)
- Anca Andrea Stefan (Lakewood Montessori Middle, Durham Assoc. of Educators)
- Amy Elizabeth Swain (Durham)
- Dawn Angela Wilson (Teaching Assist., Morehead Montessori Magnet School, VIDEO)
- James Matthew Woody (Special Ed Teacher, Guilford)
Proffitt is either married to or in a relationship with ardent Social Justice Warrior, Holly Jordan.
The two teach at Hillside High in Durham, where Jordan spending time busting up ‘heternormativity’ and ‘gender norms’ in her school.
ABC 11 interviewed Proffitt and apparently this protest was about poor children in general:
“Twenty-five percent of NC children live in poverty – they need and deserve health care and fully funded schools,” said Bryan Proffitt, chair of Organize 2020 and president of the Durham Association of Educators (DAE). “As educators and parents together, we understand the needs of our students better than anyone. Our students can’t wait. They deserve more.”
Proffitt works in the Durham public school system, which current has a large budget problem. The budget is currently being set at $403 million. Perhaps asking to see Durham Public School’s expenditures, receipts and other budget documents might be something Mr. Proffitt should consider next time he talks to their board.
WRAL captured a comment from Profitt as well as Todd Warren, another Organize 2020 leader and a name familiar with the now infamous ‘walk-ins’ from 3 years ago:
“This is about teachers not being able to control the conditions in their classrooms to have learning occur,” said Todd Warren, a Guliford County teacher.
“We live in a state where 500,000 people could have access to free health care from the federal government, and they’re being denied it. We live in a state where 25 percent of our kids live in poverty. We live in a state where 16-year-olds are tried as adults,” said Bryan Proffitt, a Durham teacher.
View more coverage from WRAL.
According to WNCN’s Steve Sbraccia’s Instagram post, the Governor was not even in town but did offer a meeting to the group with his deputy chief. According to Sbraccia’s post, Organize 2020 is upset about education funding and medicaid expansion.
HAPPENING NOW: (video) teachers & supporters who’ve been marching 2 days to see the governor arrive in downtown Raleigh. Education funding and Medicaid expansion are at the top of the group’s demands.
McCrory spokesman Graham Wilson said the governor has a previous commitment and will not be able to meet with the group. McCrory is at a meeting in Wrightsville Beach Wednesday morning. Wilson said the teachers could meet with the governor’s deputy chief of staff and his senior education advisor.#WNCN #nceducation #ncga #ncpol
View more of WNCN’s coverage.
The McCrory Campaign issued a statement, asking why a group endorsing NC’s top law official, Roy Cooper, would turn around and break the law. The statement also said, “Not only did this protest inconvenience drivers, it wasted law enforcement resources during rush hour.”
Organize 2020 was offered meetings with the Governor’s senior staff but turned them down. They then changed their mind and were “incensed” the Governor wouldn’t meet with them personally. Upon finding out the group changed their mind, an adviser went out to talk with them, but by that point they were already blocking traffic.
On Twitter I engaged various users apparently involved in the protest. I asked them why they didn’t take the meeting with the senior advisors . One user named ‘T. Kelly” said that they wanted only to meet with the Governor.
Another Twitter user named “Nicholas GarberGrace” then responded they were “locked out” when they arrived at the Governor’s offices.
Organize 2020’s Mission – “We need a Union.”