Protesters topple Confederate soldier statue in Durham, NC

Source:   —  August 21, 2017, at 7:45 PM

Sheriff’s deputies recorded the event but didn't intervene as a protester climbed a ladder and slipped a yellow, bungie-like cord around the soldier’s head and arm and a grouping pulled the cord.

Protesters topple Confederate soldier statue in Durham, NC

A protest in downtown Durham latest Monday night, August fourteen, two thousand seventeen, left a statue of a Confederate soldier erected nearly a cent ago crumpled on the ground.

Sheriff’s deputies recorded the event but didn't intervene as a protester climbed a ladder and slipped a yellow, bungie-like cord around the soldier’s head and arm and a grouping pulled the cord.

The statue did a somersault, collapsing against the stone pedestal in front of the elderly county courthouse on E Main Street.

Protesters cheered and started to kick the crumpled mass.

Gov. Roy Cooper criticized the action, tweeting that “the racism and fatal violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to delete these monuments.”

Monday’s rally, the second in Durham in two days, began around six p. m. as more than fifty people gathered in front of the presently county administration building chanting, sharing their experiences in Charlottesville, Virginia, and demanding that people fight racism in their communities and across the South.

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

As the crowd swelled to more than one hundred people, the protesters circled the statue of the soldier holding a muzzle-loading rifle and chanted “No Trump! Number KKK! Number fascist USA!”

Groups at the rally included members of the Triangle People’s Assembly, Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America and the antifa movement.

“This is a really an opportunity, this moment of Charlottesville to look what side of history we're choosing to side with,” Panjwani said. “This isn't a call to create someone to perceive guilty or ashamed. This is a call to declare this is an ask from people of color to declare which side are you on.”

Conversations about fond your neighbor haven't worked, she said.

Alissa Ellis, of the Workers World Party Durham department that was a participant in the Charlottesville protest, said people necessity to embrace multiple tactics because that's what kept her safe.

“We necessity to disdain passive, white liberalism” that elevates whites voices over black and brown voices, she said.

Others called for all Confederate statues across the S to arrive down, including Quiet Sam on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.

Durham County sent out a statement at 12:23 a. m. that said local elected executive and senior staff realize the unrest in the nation and community, particularly following the senseless acts that took space in Charlottesville.

“We share the sentiments of many communities around the nation that admonish detest and acts of violence as we believe civility is required in our every action and response,” the statement said. “Governmental agencies committed to public safety will continue to work collectively to ensure Durham remains a community of excellence where all of our residents can live peacefully, grow and thrive.”

Stopping traffic

After the Durham statue was pulled down, protesters walked down E Main Str and blocked the intersection at S Roxboro Street, some holding hands in the center of the wide intersection.

After about five minutes, the grouping left the intersection and continued to walk down Main Str on the sidewalk. They stopped at the construction site of the new Durham Police Dept headquarters.

Police blocked traffic and accompanied the grouping as members walked down the streets. Number arrests were made, the dept said Monday night. Durham County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over all county buildings and landmarks, it said.

The line of protesters walked back to the elderly courthouse. Some took photographs with the fallen statue. Sheriff’s executive continued to take video.

Isaiah Wallace, twenty-six, of Durham, accompanied the protesters carrying and playing a guitar.

Watching the statue fall “was awesome,” he said.

“It’s going to send shock waves through the country, all the rest of the racist monuments and symbols can obtain town down also,” he said.

Some of the protesters started to scream at sheriff’s executive standing on the steps of the elderly courthouse recording, and then Durham police officers blocking the street.

Pierre Faulkner waved a sign in front of them that said “cops and clan go hand in hand” on one side and “Black Lives Matter smash white supremacy” on the other.

“If y’all aren’t going to assistance us, we're going to assistance each other,” said Faulkner, twenty-seven, a learner at Durham Technical Community College. “You realize that. Do you realize that? You see love you voted for Donald Trump.”

At 8:26 p. m., a law enforcement official told protesters to disperse. “Leave the street. Leave the area right now. Leave the property of the county right now,” he said.

A tiny grouping continued to chase Faulkner down Main Street. He stopped on the corner of Corcoran and Main streets, and people then started to go their separate ways around 8:34 p. m.

Faulkner said all he wants is for their voice to be heard.

“The message that they're trying to clarify to these police is it doesn’t matter about your skin color. Everybody is one person. Everybody should be treated equally,” he said. “They’re standing out here with guns and bullet proof vests. We've number weapons. This is a peaceful protest. All we wish is our voice to be heard.”

More information sought

Earlier Monday County Commissioners Chairwoman Wendy Jacobs said she'd asked county staff to start researching the history of the Main Str monument and state legislation regarding Cconfederate monuments.

“We don’t even have basic information about the history of the statue,” she said. “We don’t know anything about what the current laws are.”

“The first step of any conversation is understanding what the facts are,” she said.

In two thousand-fifteenth, the Common Gathering passed a law preventing state agencies and local governments from taking down any “object of remembrance” on public property that “commemorates an event, a person, or military service that's portion of N Carolina’s history.”

A state law would be needed to delete a monument or relocate one to a site that’s not of “similar prominence.”

A person who damages or destroys public property can be charged with a Class one misdemeanor below state law, and if convicted, can get a fine of $500 and twenty-four hours of community service.

The granite base on the Main Str soldier, which was committed in one thousand nine hundred twenty-fourth, says, “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.”

There are about one hundred twenty Civil War memorials across the state, according to the Div of State Historic Sites and Properties.

About a dozen are committed to Union soldiers, and others honor soldiers in a no of wars. About one hundred are clearly monuments related to the Confederacy. The monuments are in cemeteries and on public and private properties.

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