Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

University Of North Carolina Students Bring Down Silent Sam Confederate Statue

Over 250 students and demonstrators knocked down a Confederate statue at the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday night. 

Since the deadly rally in Charlottesville, VA one year ago, several Confederate statues have been called to be removed. The Silent Sam statue was erected in 1913 and built to honor Confederate soldiers in the Civil War, according to Huffington Post. 

Students, faculty members, and residents surrounded the statue and were faced with counter-protesters, some of whom were wearing Confederate flag shirts and were arguing with student protestors. According to Huffington Post, there were no reports of any physical violence. 

The statue came down at around 9:20 p.m. Student paper The Daily Tar Heel reported that protestors used a rope to pull the statue down

“Next up, Charlottesville!” a protestor shouted as the statue fell. 

The monument had long been a target of protest. UNC doctoral student Maya Little was arrested for covering the monument in red ink and blood back in April. The Raleigh News & Observer reported that Monday’s student protest started as a rally for Little, who faes criminal and honor court charges. According to the newspaper, it “quickly morphed into a march…to the UNC campus, where police officers stood at the monument.”

According to CNN, the university has rejected all requests to remove or relocate Silent Sam because of state law. They even spent $390,000 on security for the statue, according to the News & Observer. North Carolina and many other southern states have built laws to protect Confederate statues. A law was signed by then Governor Pat McCrory in 2015 to prohibit local governments from removing any “object of remembrance” on public property that “commemorates an event, a person or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history.” 

“It’s time to build monuments to honor those who have been murdered by white supremacy,” Little told the crowd, according to The Daily Tar Heel’s twitter. “It’s time to tea down Silent Sam. It’s time to tear down UNC’s institutional white supremacy.” 

UNC has released a statement calling the protesters actions as “dangerous” and vandalism

Carissa Dunlap is a Her Campus News X Social Intern for Summer 2018. She is a current Publishing major and Journalism minor at Emerson College (Class of 2020). When she isn't perusing the YA bookshelf at the bookstore, she can be found watching dog videos on Facebook, at her favorite coffee shops, or relaxing on the beach. Follow her on Instagram @dunlapcarissa or Twitter @Caridunlap.