7 arrested in protest torn-down Southern statue

CHAPEL HILL, N. C. – Seven people were arrested Saturday at a meeting calling for a century-old Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina to be returned after it was torn down five days ago.

About a dozen people with Southern flags were met by dozens of protesters who do not want the memorial known as “Silent Sam” to return to the campus in Chapel Hill.

Tv recordings and videos posted to social media showed several punches thrown and at least one man being beaten after he tried to burn a Confederate flag from another man’s hands.

None of the seven people arrested were connected with the school, the Chancellor, Carol Folt said.

Three were accused of assault, two were charged with assault, destruction of property and incitement to riot; one was charged with destruction of property and was charged with resisting an official, the university said in a statement. The officials not release their names or say if they protested for or against the statue.

“Silent Sam,” built in 1913, was demolished Monday during a protest. It is now in temporary storage.

Folt said that there are at least 35 demonstrations on the statue in the past few years, and although they prefer a safer, more secure place than any of the main campus of the quad, the university has not yet decided what to do with the monument. The police around the empty pedestal with barricades Saturday.

The chancellor is only a mention of a “lasting, legal solution” during a conference call with reporters, where they also recognised that there is a “very exciting moments during Saturday’s demonstrations.

“I will not rush into that,” Folt said of Silent Sam’s fate.

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