This is what’s really happening in some chapters of Black Lives Matter

This is what’s really happening in some chapters of Black Lives Matter
Protesters shroud a Thomas Jefferson statue and decry the University of Virginia's response to rallies. More than 100 students, residents, and faculty members gathered on the UVA campus for the protest Tuesday. (Image source: Twitter video screenshot)

Black Lives Matter protesters targeted a prominent statue of former President Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday night at the university that he founded.

Protesters at the University of Virginia adorned the statue — which was posed with a sign that read “TJ is a racist and rapist” — with a black shroud. Banners crying “Black Lives Matter!” were also draped across bushes and stone partitions at the college’s Rotunda.

Protest fast facts

  • More than 100 students, residents, and faculty members gathered on the UVA campus for the protest, which was held in response to August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
  • The protest was held to enforce a list of demands provided to UVA by the Black Student Alliance in August. Some of the demands, which were compiled in a list called “Reclaim Our Grounds,” included:
    • The removal of Confederate statues from the UVA grounds
    • The denouncing of white supremacist groups by the university
    • The requirement of student education on the history of white supremacy
    • An increased inclusion of African-American undergraduates admitted to the university
  • “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist UVA!” was a common mantra among those attending the protest
  • The shroud was eventually removed from Jefferson’s statue early Wednesday morning
  • Local news authorities reported that there was no visible police presence during the Tuesday night protest

(Content warning: Video contains rough language):

Some of Black Lives Matter’s aims in its own words

  • “We are committed to acknowledging, respecting, and celebrating difference(s) and commonalities.”
  • A desire to create and cultivate a “community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.”
  • A commitment to “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family” by supporting the black community through “villages.”
  • “We are committed to practicing empathy.”
  • “We are committed to embodying and practicing justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.”

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