By Robert Gearty, ,
Published August 25, 2018
At least seven people have been arrested as opposing groups clashed at the University of North Carolina Saturday over a century-old Confederate statue that was torn down earlier this week.
Three arrests were for assault, the fourth for destruction of property and the fifth for resisting an officer, Fox 8 North Carolina reported. The sixth arrest was for assault, destruction of property and inciting a riot. There is no current information on the seventh arrest.
One person was recorded by the station stomping on a Confederate flag and then being led away by police.
Protesters gathered at the spot where the statue was torn down and held signs and chanted "racists go home," according to the station. Several other people in support of the statue were seen holding Confederate flags.
Anti-Silent Sam protesters also chanted “Black lives, they matter here!” and “Cops and Klan go hand in hand!,” the Durham Herald Sun reported.
Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking classified documents, at the protest, the Durham Indy Week reported.
“Silent Sam shouldn’t go back up,” Manning was quoted as saying.
Charges were filed Friday against three people cops say played some part in tearing down the statue.
Hundreds of student protesters gathered at the UNC campus in Chapel Hill Monday night to bring down the statue known as “Silent Sam.”
Using ropes and violent force, the protesters toppled the statute which had stood that ground since 1913.
UNC leaders and many North Carolina leaders, including Gov. Roy Cooper, criticized the protesters’ actions Monday.
“That Confederate monument has been a flashpoint and a divisive symbol for decades, and especially since Charlottesville, has been the focus of increasing frustration, anxiety and pain for people,” Chancellor Carol Folt said Thursday, according to the paper.
But Folt added: “No matter what you felt about the monument, what happened on Monday night was destruction of state property, and that is not lawful, and someone could have been badly injured. Using the full breadth of state and university processes, we will do our best to identify, and will hold those responsible accountable.”
The statue was under constant and costly police surveillance after being vandalized in recent months. Many students, faculty and alumni argued that "Silent Sam" symbolized racism and asked officials to take it down.