Students at UNC-Chapel Hill finally topped Silent Sam, a Confederate monument on the prestigious campus. (Image source: News & Observer screenshot)
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UNC-Chapel Hill's Silent Sam confederate monument, a statue erected in 1913 to honor Confederate alumni who died in the Civil War, long stood as a dark reminder of the south's history of rampant racism and the fight to maintain slavery.
Demonstrators changed that Monday by toppling the controversial statue.
What are the details?
The university said in a statement:
Around 9:20 p.m., a group from among an estimated crowd of 250 protesters brought down the Confederate Monument on the campus of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tonight’s actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured. We are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage.
Students gathered around the monument hours earlier to stand in solidarity with a university student who faces criminal charges for vandalizing the statue in April. That student, Maya Little, defaced the statue with red ink and blood.
Protesters held signs and chanted "hey, hey, ho, ho, this racist statue has got to go," WRAL-TV reported.
According to the News & Observer, protesters managed to topple the monument by securing ropes to it and manually pulling it down. Once toppled, demonstrators rushed to take pictures and stomp the debris.
Earlier in the evening, students obscured the statue with banners, apparently hiding the ropes used to bring it down.
One student was arrested during the protests following a tense clash between demonstrators and police. That protester was charged with resisting arrest and concealing one's face during a public rally.
What did officials say?
In a statement, UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Carol Folt acknowledged "the monument has been divisive for years," but characterized Monday's incident as "unlawful and dangerous."
Meanwhile, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said he shares protesters' frustrations, but said that "violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities."
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News