- Twitter/Derrick Lewis
A group of protesters toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday, in an incident that appears to be a direct response to violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
More than 100 activists from progressive and anti-fascist groups attended the “Emergency Durham Protest,” which culminated with the smashing of the 93-year-old statue, according to Raleigh’s News and Observer.
Video of the incident showed the crowd pulling on a rope wrapped around the 15-foot bronze statue until it fell to the ground. Some protesters ran up to the mangled statue and repeatedly kicked it, while others chanted, “The people united will never be defeated.”
The incident comes just days after white nationalists convened in Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest the removal of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. They were met with counter-protests that quickly descended into violent clashes. On Saturday, one woman was killed and several more were injured when a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
“Charlottesville and racist monuments across the country are the result of centuries of white supremacy,” Alissa Ellis, a member of the Workers World Party group that attended the Durham protest, told the News and Observer.
Another protester, Takiyah Thompson, told a local CBS affiliate, “People are angry, and when enough people are angry, we don’t have to look to politicians to sit around … and do nothing when we can do things ourselves.”
The statue, erected in 1924, sat atop a granite monument in front of the Durham County courthouse. An inscription on the monument reads “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray,'” referring to the uniform of the Confederate army.
It is one of about 120 Civil War monuments across North Carolina, according to the News and Observer.
Watch video of the incident here:
— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) August14, 2017