7 Arrested as Protesters Clash Over Silent Sam Statue Removal
Skirmishes broke out at UNC-Chapel Hill between protesters on both sides of the Silent Sam confederate monument removal controversy.
Police arrested seven protesters at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill on Saturday as demonstrators clashed over the Silent Sam Confederate statue that had been toppled earlier in the week.
The couple of dozen demonstrators carrying Confederate flags, who call themselves “Oathkeepers,” were vastly outnumbered by the approximately 200 people who supported the toppling of the monument, reports the Herald Sun. The incident happened at McCorkle Place on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
Three protesters were arrested for assault, one for destruction of property and one for resisting an officer, reports CNN. One person was arrested for assault, destruction of property and inciting a riot. None of the individuals arrested were UNC students, and the school urged students not to participate in the rally, reports Time. No serious injuries resulted from the protests.
About 50 campus police officers were in McCorkle Place, with about 10 inside the barricade that surrounded where the toppled monument once stood. Those officers stepped in when there were clashes. The remainder of the officers were positioned in various places, ready to intervene when the opposing sides clashed, reports the Herald Sun. Chapel Hill Police and State Highway Patrol officers were positioned just off campus.
Only five days earlier, several hundred people used ropes to tear down Silent Sam. The statue was erected in 1913 as a memorial to Confederate alumni who died during the Civil War and students who joined the Confederate States Army. When it was erected, KKK member and industrialst Julian Carr, who spoke at the ceremony when the statue was unveiled, referred to as a “pleasing duty” his horse-whipping of “a negro wench until her skirts hung in shreds,” reports the Washington Post.
The statue’s removal came just over a year after the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, intended to unify the far-right wing and “affirm the right of Southerners and white people to organize for their interests,” according to the group’s Facebook page. One rally protester was killed when a man intentionally drove his car into a crowd.
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