UNC calls protesters’ ‘illegal and dangerous’ actions after the Silent Sam statue taken



Southern campus statue thrown down by student protesters

University of North Carolina students tear down the Silent Sam statue on the first day of class.

The destruction of a Representative statue in the heart of North Carolina’s flagship university by hundreds of protesters on Monday evening was “illegitimate and dangerous,” university leaders said.

Carol L. Folt, chancellor of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, condemned the actions of a crowd of protesters who took the memorial known as “Silent Sam,” which was founded in 1913.

“The monument is divisive for years, and his presence is a source of frustration for many people not only on campus but in the community as a whole,” she said in a statement released early Tuesday. “However, last night’s actions were unlawful and dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured.”

A message from Chancellor Folt at the Southern Monument:

— UNC Chapel Hill (@UNC), August 21, 2018


Protests about the UNC form have flared in the past year, with many decrying the monument as a symbol of a racist heritage.

Protesters celebrate after the Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam” was located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

(Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP)

On Monday evening, a crowd on the other side of the street from the university plaza for a series of speakers before them to the quadrilateral. Then, about two hours into the protest, a group around the statue and pulled it down.

Once on the ground, protesters kicked and shouted.

Shortly after 10 a.m., a dozen officers around the fallen statue, which was eventually covered with a tarpaulin next to the empty pedestal.


Many students, faculty and alumni, called the image of a racist image, and asked officials to remove it, but some argued it was a tribute to the fallen ancestors. Protesters responded to the statement that the image was not a symbol of white power by reading its 1913 dedication speech, by tobacco magnate Julian Carr, who praised Southern veterans for terrorizing former slaves and to ensure that “the purest type of the anglo-Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States.”

UNC leaders, including Folt, had previously said state law prevented the school to remove the statue.

The Governor understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change, and he shares their frustration, but the violent destruction of public property and has no place in our communities. 2/2

— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) August 21, 2018

Gov. Roy Cooper, who had called for the removal of Silent Sam and the other rebel symbols on public land, argued Monday night that the protesters are the wrong approach for the removal of the statue.

“The Governor understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change, and he shares their frustration, but the violent destruction of public property and has no place in our society,” according to a tweet from the official account.

A person was arrested and accused of resisting arrest and to hide a face during a public rally, WRAL reported. However, no other arrests have been made.

It is unclear whether the charges can be brought against the protesters.

UNC Chapel Hill police referred all questions to the university’s media relations department.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucia I. Suarez Sang a Reporter for Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

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