Authorities separate ‘Silent Sam’ supporters, protesters during demonstrations

National/World
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Those for and against the Confederate monument on the University of North Carolina’s campus clashed for a third time in less than two weeks.

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Supporters of restoring the “Silent Sam” statue to its original spot after it was taken down on Aug. 20 were separated by barricades from the protesters. Those protesting the statue also held a dance party on McCorkle Place as a way to divert attention from their opposition.

“It’s really close to campus, so it’s going to affect our daily life. I think its really important to know what’s going on in your community,” said UNC freshman Elise Mahon. “This is such an emotionally charged event for a lot of people, so it means a lot to a lot of people I go to school with.”

Those protesting “Silent Sam” chanted “Cops and Klan go hand in hand, “Go home Nazis,” and more. Those in favor of returning “Silent Sam” to campus remained relatively quiet.

“I’ve been keeping up with what was going on with the statue and stuff like that. To see people both sides of it, I’m trying to hear what each person’s got to say about it,” said UNC junior Tylor Moore. “I stand on the side of it coming down. I understand where they’re coming from when they say they want to preserve history, but you’ve got to look at what their history stands for and stuff like that. It’s important to look at the details and the context of what was going on.”

Just after 9 p.m., CBS 17’s crews on scene said something had been released into the air.

UNC police added barricades Thursday afternoon around where the school’s Confederate monument once stood.

Police are prepping for another set of demonstrations after the statue, known as Silent Sam, was torn down by protesters on Aug. 20. Clashing groups met at the site where the statue stood on Aug. 25, leading to arrests. 

In addition to UNC and Chapel Hill police, UNC-Wilmington police told CBS 17 they sent six officers to assist. Wake EMS and Greensboro are also assisting.

Traffic restrictions are in place at parking and loading zones on Henderson Street and at the 100 and 200 blocks of East Franklin Street.

Since the statue was torn down, there’s been a debate on campus as to whether or not it should be replaced. 

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt sent a message to students and staff asking they avoid McCorkle Place Thursday evening. 

The school issued a similar notice before the Aug. 25 protests. On campus Wednesday, students said they plan to listen to the chancellor’s warning.

“It’s important to stay safe. I’m a first year, I know I got a lot ahead of me. I don’t think it’s my place right now to be out there putting my life on the line,” said UNC student Oshan Iyamu.

When asked if the UNC’s police planned to keep the opposing groups separate Thursday night, a University spokesperson couldn’t comment on specifics, but has studied recent events to make sure their tactics and resources keep people safe.

The University released rules Thursday afternoon ahead of the planned demonstrations.

  • No alcohol or drugs.
  • No firearms, weapons or other materials that pose a safety hazard as determined by UNC Public Safety.
  • No fireworks, bonfires or open flames.
  • No motorcycles, mopeds or vehicles on McCorkle Place or other areas of campus not designated for traffic or parking.
  • No wearing of masks, hoods or other devices to disguise a person so as to conceal identity on public property (GS 14-12.8).
  • No dogs or other pets.
  • Do not attempt to climb over or through crowd control barriers.
  • Do not throw any objects.
  • Do not damage or deface any public property.
  • Follow instructions provided by public safety personnel.
  • An individual’s failure to comply with these guidelines shall be grounds for removal from the premises and possible arrest.

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