University of North Carolina officials condemn protestors toppling of Confederate statue ‘Silent Sam’

Police stand guard after the confederate statue known as Silent Sam was toppled by protesters on campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

By MARTHA WAGGONER and JONATHAN DREW,  Associated Press  CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) 08/21 — North Carolina university officials and a former governor condemned the toppling of a century-old Confederate memorial on the state’s flagship campus by protesters who said its presence on campus was rooted in racism.

The University of North Carolina system’s president and the chairman of the Board of Governors on Tuesday promised a full criminal investigation of the protest that brought down the statue known as “Silent Sam.” The bronze figure of an anonymous rebel soldier was pulled down from its tall stone pedestal Monday night by protesters using ropes and banners to mask their action.

Police remove a protester during a rally to remove the confederate statue known as Silent Sam from campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

 

“The safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount,” President Margaret Spellings and board chairman Harry Smith said in a statement. “And the actions last evening were unacceptable, dangerous, and incomprehensible. We are a nation of laws_and mob rule and the intentional destruction of public property will not be tolerated.”

Meanwhile, former Gov. Pat McCrory compared those who helped topple the statue to Nazis. The Charlotte Observer reports that McCrory asked Tuesday if the protesters are any different from Nazis who tore down statues and burned books in the 1920s and 1930s.

The statue, erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913, had been under constant, costly police surveillance after being vandalized in recent months.

Protesters appeared to outwit officers by raising four tall black banners on bamboo poles, along with more banners on the ground, concealing efforts to tie a rope around the sculpture. They then split into two groups, with most marching away from the statue as small group remained behind. The banners were up for about an hour before the groups converged and yanked the statue down, according to videos.

Banners are used to cover the statue known as Silent Sam as people gather during a rally to remove the confederate statue from campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

 

Around midnight, workers covered the fallen statue with a tarp, lifted it with a backhoe and put it into the back of a truck for a trip to an undisclosed storage location.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said the protesters should be arrested and prosecuted “to make clear that mob rule and acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state.”

His statement and those of the UNC system leaders were stronger than a Monday night comment from Chancellor Carol Folt, who didn’t call for arrests and charges.

Instead, she called the protesters’ actions unlawful and dangerous, while acknowledging that the “monument has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people.”

Many students, faculty and alumni argued that “Silent Sam” symbolized racism and asked officials to take it down. In response to assertions that the statue wasn’t a symbol of white power, protesters read from its 1913 dedication speech by tobacco magnate Julian Carr, who praised Confederate veterans for terrorizing former slaves and making sure “the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States.”

Police and protesters react to a smoke bomb as some protesters are removed during a rally to remove the confederate statue known as Silent Sam from campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

 

Protester Maya Little, who faces criminal charges for throwing a mixture of red ink and her own blood on Silent Sam in April, said students, campus workers and community supporters did what the University of North Carolina refused to do when they toppled the statue.

“I think our community came together to take care of an issue that the university refused to,” Little said Tuesday in a phone interview.

Two friends who have protested against “Silent Sam” for years, C.J. Suitt and Will McInerney, wondered Tuesday if UNC will return the statue to its still-standing pedestal.

“People have been protesting the statue since the ’50s and ’60s and it always finds a way to come back. People find a way to defend it,” said Suitt, a Chapel Hill resident. “It feels a little surreal. I feel excited but I also feel like — all right, how long is it going to be before they bring the crane in and put him back?”

North Carolina is one of the Southern states with the most Confederate monuments , and has been a focal point in the national debate over them following a deadly white nationalist protest a year ago in Charlottesville, Virginia .

Protests over the UNC statue flared in the past year, and another Confederate monument in nearby Durham was torn down by protesters shortly after the Virginia rally.

Gov. Roy Cooper had called for removing “Silent Sam” and other rebel symbols on public land. A state historic panel is set to meet Wednesday to debate Cooper’s request to remove other Confederate monuments at the state Capitol.

Still, the Democratic governor issued a statement Monday night on Twitter arguing the protesters took the wrong approach.

Campus police referred questions to the university’s media relations department, which declined to answer questions Tuesday.

___

Associated Press writer Alexander Derosier contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/ca35b98f9b2145fb9221e2ab58419044/Top-UNC-leaders-condemn-Confederate-statue-toppling

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

 

Posted in: Arrests, Protests/Civil Unrest, Racial Issues, Vandalism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 − fourteen =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.