Protesters arrested at Durham Commissioners meeting
A lecturer in the math department at Duke University was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a “Confederate Memorial Day” event in Alamance County on Saturday.
Rann Bar-On is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Duke University and remained as an employee of the university Tuesday afternoon, according to Duke spokesman Keith Lawrence. Lawrence said he had no information on Bar-On’s arrest.
Bar-On was arrested during a “Confederate Memorial Day” event in Graham on Saturday. The Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County (ACTBAC) group held the event in response to “attacks and destruction of Southern symbols in other cities and states.” The Southern Poverty Law Center designated ACTBAC as a hate group earlier this year, calling it a “neo-Confederate” organization.
The Triangle Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) group held a counter rally during the Confederate Memorial Day event, which the group called “Stop white supremacy in Alamance County.” Three IWW protestors were arrested at the event, according to The Times-News of Burlington. IWW has ties to socialist and anarchist labor movements.
Bar-On was attempting to destroy a flag set up earlier in the morning by someone with ACTBAC, police told The Times-News. Bar-On, 36, of Durham, was charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer and misdemeanor injury to personal property. His bond was set at $11,500, The Times-News reported on Monday.
Bar-On was arrested earlier this year after a group of advocates for jail inmates interrupted a Durham County Commissioners meeting March 13. Bar-On and four others were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and inciting a riot – all misdemeanors.
Bar-On could not immediately be reached for comment.
Two men from Chapel Hill and Durham also were arrested.
William Anthony Hood, 34, of Chapel Hill, was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer inflicting serious injury and misdemeanor possession of a weapon at a parade or rally. His bond was set at $15,000.
Gregory Southall Williams, 27, of Durham, was charged with misdemeanor resisting a public officer. His bond was set at $1,500.
Police told The Times-News that Bar-On allegedly tore the flag off its pole and was trying to pour an unidentified liquid on it, which police suspected could be lighter fluid. When police tried to intervene, Bar-On allegedly struck an officer with the flag pole, leading to a struggle between officers and IWW members.
Two other men also were arrested at the event, though police said they were unsure which group the men were part of.
Joseph Warner Manning, 32, of Jacksonville, and Michael Joseph Chesney, 35, of Havelock, were both charged with misdemeanor first-degree trespassing after allegedly using a ladder to climb to the top of a building on Main Street to unfurl a banner that said “He who controls the past controls the future,” a quote from George Orwell’s novel “1984,” according to The Times-News.
The banner also said “YWNRU” on the side, which stands for “You will not replace us,” a phrase chanted by demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month at a protest of the removal of a Confederate monument.