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Protesters Vow To Return To Fayetteville’s Market House If Demands Aren’t Met

Market House Fayetteville
City of Fayetteville, Andrew Johnson

Protesters have deconstructed a camp that stood in front of the Market House in Fayetteville for nearly a week.

But they've vowed to return if the city council does not meet their demands for police reform.

The group packed up their camp on Tuesday evening. This came after Fayetteville mayor Mitch Colvin called the camp a "public safety hazard" on Monday.

Calling themselves “The Ville's Voice,” the group has been pushing for a police oversight board among other law enforcement reforms and social services investments.

Protester Mario Benavente says the camp had become its own community center. Members of the group were feeding the homeless and the camp had become a gathering spot for people who feel marginalized.

“That wasn't a departure from our call for police reform,” Benavente said. “But rather just the other necessary component, which is being able to support members of your community, so that they can thrive and do well, and then police never have to be involved.”

Demonstrators decided to reestablish their advocacy for a review board that could investigate allegations of police misconduct.

"And that's what we want our city council to do,” Benavente said. “If they support us, they need to actually put that in writing. Anything other than that is exactly why we are going to have to continue to put pressure on them in other ways."

The group has also been calling for the city council's support of a community center and garden, as well as a ban on certain police tactics like choke-holds.

Benavente says protesters plan to rebuild the camp if the city council does not make sufficient progress with their demands within 60 days.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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