Photo by York Wilson
Batalá Durham performing in front of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park
While Liberty Warehouse Apartments may not have offered any official comment on its tension with Batalá Durham
, several residents have. As it turns out, many of them are in favor of Batalá Durham's Central Park practices, and blame a single unidentified resident for all of the trouble.
Chatter began on Wednesday in the comments section of the original story, where residents Kirk Royal, Ashley Miles, and Lauren Faber expressed their thoughts on the matter.
In a longer comment, Royal wrote, "I, for one, am going to be royally PISSED if this ONE person's quixotic pursuit of bland whitebread suburban 'bliss' in the middle of downtown Durham gets Batalá Durham (or anyone else, for that matter) banned from using the park."
"I'm a new Liberty Warehouse resident and I absolutely support Batalá's use of the space. They are the kind of asset that makes Durham a desirable place to live. Seeing and hearing artists performing their art is what living in a vibrant downtown is all about," wrote Faber, a Duke employee and local comedian.
In a follow-up e-mail to the INDY
, Faber provided a screenshot from an internal community message board where, accompanying a link to the INDY
story, one anonymous resident wrote that they were "disappointed to see that Liberty residents are starting to get a bad reputation in Durham because of this issue." Faber responded, in part, "I hope that in the future, we can approach and converse with community members we take issue with. I don't know if people tried that before contacting the police in this case, but I think we should minimize trying to call in potentially hostile authorities to manage our relationship with our community."
In a Friday afternoon phone call, Royal, who's lived in Durham for six years, confirmed that several dozen residents in all are actively in favor of Batalá Durham staying in Central Park.
"The reason we moved own here was to be in the thick of all of this and be part of the fabric that’s the downtown Durham landscape," he says. "It’s kind of circular logic to move downtown to be in the middle of all of this, and then complain that it’s going on."
Royal says he's been in touch with Batalá representatives, who pointed him and other Liberty residents toward a petition titled Batalá - Don't Hush Durham
. Several of them have signed and left enthusiastic, encouraging comments.
Batalá Durham's next rehearsal is scheduled for Monday, August 7, at 6:30 p.m., and a contingency of Liberty residents will be there to assert their support of the group. Other members of the public are welcome to join, too. You can read Durham Central Park's statement about the situation here