CHAPEL HILL, NC – Seven people were arrested at a demonstration Saturday at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill site, where a Confederate monument was plunged this week.
The charges include assault destruction of property, incitement to a rebellion and resistance to an officer. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said those arrested were not affiliated with the university, but did not provide any additional information about the detainees.
After the university issued a warning to the campus Friday afternoon about a "possible rally," a small group of demonstrators with Confederate flags appeared at 1
Only a handful of demonstrators holding Confederate flags stayed until noon on campus as the number of proponents of the statue's distance swelled. The police had to intervene several times as demonstrators from both sides met and engaged in physical clashes.
The memorial, erected in 1913 to commemorate UNC students fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War, was tied up and overthrown Monday night. Many saw the statue as a symbol of the white supremacy of the Jim Crow era.
Police have issued three arrest warrants related to the fall of the monument. Folt said the incident continues to be investigated and it is unclear whether the statue will be reinstalled within 90 days as envisaged by a 2015 law.
Since Monday, members of the University Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors have voiced a range of opinions about the statue – some calling for their restoration while others raise public safety concerns.
After the demonstration on Saturday, Folt defended the idea of relocating the statue, even though state law prevented it.
"I would find a better place, a safe place for the monument that allows us to talk about it, learn from it and treat it respectfully," she said. "And if I could do that, that's what I still think necessary."
More than 35 demonstrations on the monument have taken place in recent years, said Folt.
On Saturday, Chapel Hill police partially closed down the road in front of the lawn where the rally took place. Local law enforcement authorities called in state troops, and some officers put on protective gear.
A man posing as Paul Kin held up a Confederate flag when a counter-protest later arrested and stomped him several times […] A former college student living in nearby Hillsborough, Kin said that The statue's overthrow spurs him to perform and to express his support for the so-called neo-Confederate movement, a conservative ideology that puts the Confederation in a positive light.
Kin spoke out in favor of segregation and said the movement he supported "rejects the idea that whites and blacks should be merged."
Doctoral student Eleanor Griggs said she felt it was her responsibility to op the demonstrators.
"I teach students," Griggs said. "I do not want them to feel threatened on their campus by people who come here and hold Confederate flags that are reminiscent of the Confederacy's legacy and how bad it is today in the South."
Another gathering, organized by another conservative group to remember the fallen statue, is scheduled for Thursday evening on the UNC campus .
"I'm worried," Griggs said. "We will see more and more people using this statue as a rallying point or using the fall of this statue as a rallying point, but I am very confident that so many people came out to say that, no, that's unacceptable to us, this is not welcome here. "