Protesters knock down controversial “Silent Sam” Confederate statue at UNC campus

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The controversial “Silent Sam” statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has been toppled by protesters Monday night. CBS affiliate WNCN-TV writes that it was knocked down at 9:20 p.m. Protesters wanted the statue’s immediate removal, even prompting one student to wear a noose around his neck until it was taken down.

Fall semester classes begin Tuesday, the station adds.

There were some tense moments between police and protesters. One person was arrested and charged with concealing one’s face during a public rally and resisting arrest.

Students, faculty and alumni have called the statue a racist image and asked officials to remove it.

The statue was given to the university by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909. It was erected in 1913.

WNCN-TV reports that the “Silent Sam” statue was set to be discussed for the first time in a state meeting Wednesday. 

UNC Board of Governors Chair Harry Smith said in a recent statement that the board “respects each of the varying opinions within the University community concerning this matter.” However, he also noted that “neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the UNC System have the legal authority to unilaterally relocate the Silent Sam statue.”

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