Durham County

Confederate statue protest not hurting Durham businesses — yet

Vigil for Charlottesville violence highlights divisions

Video: Hundreds gathered in downtown Durham to show their support for victims of the violence which erupted Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, and some gathered express stronger political opinions, at CCB Plaza Sunday evening.
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Video: Hundreds gathered in downtown Durham to show their support for victims of the violence which erupted Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, and some gathered express stronger political opinions, at CCB Plaza Sunday evening.

News of the Monday night unrest in Durham in response to the Charlottesville riot on Saturday has traveled far and wide but its impact on the city as a destination could be minimal.

Shelly Green, president and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, said she had heard of only one booking for a family reunion that has been canceled and so far no major events were in danger of pulling out of Durham.

“Nothing major,” Green said. “It wasn’t a huge convention.”

The Monday night toppling of the Confederate statue in front of the Durham County Administration Building has been a hot topic on social media and Green has taken notice.

“Like many of you, we get much of our intel from the social universe where this issue draws varying and sometimes opposite view points,” Green said.

But Green said she feels reassured by the continued positive feedback Durham is getting from being named to numerous best-of lists. She doesn’t see any of that luster being rubbed off or any long-term effects from the protest.

“We probably would have rather not have been in all the national media in the last day or two linked to Charlottesville,” Green said. “Activism is part of Durham’s personality. That’s not new. That’s been a part of the DNA and the fabric of this community for decades. The things that make us stand out on the best of lists are still valid and are still there. Those two things live in harmony side by side.”

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6889, @JEJ_HSNews

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