Protesters Bring Down Confederate Solider Statue in Downtown Durham

The statue was erected nearly a century ago.

August 15, 2017 10:16 am
A toppled Confederate statue lies on the ground
A toppled Confederate statue lies on the ground on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, in Durham, N.C. Activists on Monday evening used a rope to pull down the monument outside a Durham courthouse. The Durham protest was in response to a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Va, over the weekend. Authorities say one woman was killed Saturday after one of the white nationalists drove his car into a group of counterprotesters. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)

Protests in downtown Durham, North Carolina, toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier on Monday. The statue, which was erected nearly a decade ago, was left crumpled on the ground.

Sheriff’s deputies recorded the events but did not intervene. A protestor climbed on top of the statue, reports Herald Sun, and wrapped a “bungie-like cord around the soldier’s head and arm.” A group on the ground pulled the cord, toppling the statue. Once the statue hit the ground, protesters ran up and kicked it.

There are about 120 Civil War memorials across North Carolina, writes Herald Sun. About 100 of those are related to the Confederacy. The granite base of this statue says, “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.”

Governor Roy Cooper criticized the group, reports Herald Sun, tweeting that “the racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments.”

Monday’s rally was the second rally in Durham in two days. There were more than 100 people gathered in front of the county administration building, chanting, sharing experiences, and discussing ways to fight racism across the South. Chants included: “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!”

Members of the Triangle People’s Assembly, Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America and the Antifa movement were in attendance, reports Herald Sun.

“Tactics are changing, which means that our strategies need to change, our unity needs to escalate and our demands to fight back and resist domestic terror needs to escalate,” said Eva Panjwani, with the Workers World Party Durham, to Herald Sun. 

After the statue was pulled down, protesters walked down East Main Street and blocked an intersection. They then continued to the site of the new Durham Police Department headquarters, then on to the courthouse.

Other protesters have called for other Confederate statues across the South to come down, such as “Silent Sam,” who is on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus.

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