On March 24 2006 the Duke Lacrosse Hoax/Frame exploded into the local media with the interview of Durham PD Cpl David Addison on local TV and in the News-Observer & Herald-Sun, both local newspapers. Today we are running a re-post of our Nov 13, 2006 Blog article which explained how the Hoax was promoted from a local story to a National media frenzy.
From the "Wall of Silence" to Community Uproar to a National Story
In that audience was another Duke 88 co-signer, Professor Diane Nelson whose idea of a protest against Mr. Horowitz’s demanding higher standards for the professors, was to encourage students to strip to their waists. Fortunately the protest never came off as the tops stayed on.
“Several people making comments on the e-mail bulletin boards cited Saturday's Herald-Sun article, in which police said all members of the team had refused to cooperate in the investigation of the alleged attack.” Herald-Sun March 26, 2006
Early Saturday morning the first e-mail went out from a local resident in Trinity Park expressing shock and outrage at the lacrosse team and their wall of silence.
“Shame on them. Shame on the parents who raised them. Who are [sic] this so-called "men" who shout racist slurs and have no respect for women, authority, indeed, for anyone? Who do they think they are? My heart goes out to the woman who may have been assaulted...”
“Last night, more than 200 people showed up to the house at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. with candles to protest the “wall of silence” from the Duke men’s lacrosse team. The gang rape alleged to have taken place at the rental house, one of two “lacrosse houses” across from Duke’s East Campus, has stunned the university’s students and the Durham "community.” Indy Week Blogs
Earlier in the day, at about 4:30 pm Saturday, the activists began to talk about have a large "shout out" as they called it. After the Saturday night vigil they gathered and planned another protest at 610 on a Sunday Morning for "Cacerolazo," or a pots and pans protest.
“Late Saturday Night an anonymous e-mail was sent out on the Indy Weekly List servers. (Listservs)""UPDATE -- WAKE UP CALL AGAINST RAPE (3/26/06)by anonymous • Saturday March 25, 2006 at 10:55 PM"In the early hours of March 14 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. two black women went to work as exotic dancers for a Duke Lacrosse Team party. The women were surrounded and had racial slurs flung at them by the aggressive men. The two dancers tried to leave but were coaxed to return. One of the women was pulled into a bathroom and raped, sodomized, and beaten by at least three white men for over half an hour. The accusations are first-degree rape, kidnapping, assault by strangulation and robbery, but the members of the Duke Lacrosse Team are maintaining a strict code of silence. Y'all, a sister- an NCCU student and a mom of two- has been brutally assaulted, and we need to get together and make a big noise! A group of concerned Durham residents are planning a Wake-Up Call against Sexual Assault on 9AM Sunday (*tomorrow!*) outside 610 Buchanan Blvd. This is a *peaceful* protest at the house where the rape occurred. Duke officials say the house is rented by three lacrosse team captains. We will not be trespassing onto the property- we will line up along the sidewalk without blocking it. Dress warmly, bring your whole family and bring pots and pans and things to bang them with! We are having a "Cacerolazo," or a pots & pans protest, because it is a tool women all over the world use to call out sexual assaulters. Show up on time! If the police inform us that neighbors feel we are disturbing the peace, we will quietly disperse. We are hitting the ground running on this one, so please call at least one person tonight and pass the word on your neighborhood listservers.”(This was forwarded by an IndyWeekly Columnist onto the Trinity Park Listserver)"We need to get together and make a big noise!" Durham residents Theo Luebke and Manju Rajendran wrote in an e-mail that spread to community members and student groups, such as the Women's Center." WomensNews.Org
The next morning the protest was held at 610 N. Buchanan, home to three of the Duke lacrosse captains and where the alleged incident occurred. It was led by Manju, who was portrayed in the media as a young woman courageously rallying against these “alleged rapists.”
"There is a sense that Duke students need to be protected from Durham, but rapes are happening off East Campus at the hands of Duke students," said Manju Rajendran, an organizer of the event. "We are here to break the silence around sexual assault and violence."
"Signs read 'You can't rape and run' and 'It's Sunday morning, time to confess.' The protesters left the signs on the front steps of the Buchanan Boulevard residence. The crowd yelled, 'Where are their parents?' and called for the lacrosse team's head coach Mike Pressler to be fired. Some wanted the University to force the group to testify." CSTV.com
Handouts were passed around and the crowd chanted in unison to the beat of the drummers.
"Who’s being Silent?
They’re being silent!
“Members of the Duke men's lacrosse team:
We know you know.
Whatever happened in the bathroom at the stripper party gone terribly terribly bad, you know who was involved. Every one of you does. And one of you needs to come
forward and tell the police.”
“The arrogance and bravado that they were above the law or they could think this woman is below the respect of the human community really outrages a lot of people,” Fox said.
RAJENDRAN: Well, I feel like this rape is an outrage, the racist attack is an outrage. But I feel like this is much bigger than Duke and Durham. I feel like we, as a nation, are wrestling with a long legacy of institutionalized racism and a whole culture of sexual violence. We‘re trying to undo a long legacy here, with centuries of oppression.” MSNBC
“It seems as if some protesters of the situation surrounding the Duke lacrosse team are concerned primarily with obtaining "concessions" from the Duke administration and advancing a radical social agenda.”
"It just seems like a shame that they are not willing to violate this seeming sacred sense of loyalty to team for loyalty to community," Nifong said on CNN on March 29. "My guess is that some of this stone wall of silence that we have seen may tend to crumble once charges begin to come out."
"There are so many kinds of anger," Donna Lisker, director of the Duke Women's Center, said of the stormy campus reaction that has included demonstrations. "There is anger about sexual violence. There is a racial component and a town-gown component. One of my colleagues called it the perfect storm." Baltimore Sun
On April 11, 2007 North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that the charges against the three players were dismissed. Further he stated that they were totally innocent and after an extensive review no evidence existed that there was any assault.