Protesters Inspired By Charlottesville Clashes Tear Down And Vandalize Confederate Statues
North Carolina anti-white supremacy protesters took matters into their own hands on Monday by tying a rope around a nearly 100-year-old statue of a Confederate soldier and forcibly tearing it down from its pedestal.
The city of Durham in North Carolina, about 170 miles south of Charlottesville, became the scene of vigilante justice on Monday when anti-Confederate activists used a ladder to climb onto a Confederate statue and tie a cable around it to topple the bronze homage to an American Civil War hero.
The Confederate Monument, erected in 1924, was set high on a granite pedestal and fell head-first onto the ground below, completely crumpling into a heap of mangled alloy.
Tensions have been escalating across the United States following a violent skirmish that broke out on Saturday during a white supremacist rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, including prominent white nationalist leaders such as David Duke and Richard B. Spencer, had gathered in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park surrounding a statue memorializing the leading Confederacy general.
According to a report in the New York Times, the white supremacists were protesting the city’s plans to remove the statue after numerous requests by some residents and African-American civil rights organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P).
When thousands of anti-fascist counter-protesters clashed with the white nationalists in Charlottesville, the scene of the demonstration became one of acute violence.
The carnage peaked when self-confessed Nazi sympathizer, James Alex Fields Jr., deliberately drove his car into a group of activists, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens more.
Emboldened by the actions of white supremacists, activists have been vandalizing and tearing down Confederate monuments across the south of America.
The crowd in Durham, North Carolina, gathered at the Confederate Soldiers Monument and cheered as the statue tumbled down and crumpled like a tin can.
The activists then spat on, kicked, and defiled the heap of copper and bronze where it now lay unrecognizable on the ground in front of an old city courthouse.
— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickLewisTV) August 14, 2017
Before being toppled, the statue had stood 15-feet-tall on a huge block of granite. Engraved onto the pedestal was a Confederate flag and the words: “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.'”
Not long after the monument was torn down, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stated that there were more appropriate ways of removing Confederate statues.
The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments #durham – RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) August 15, 2017
In Tampa, Florida, another Confederate Memorial had also been splattered with red paint by Sunday morning. The vandals spray painted the words “f*** fascists” onto the marble base of the statue.
Protesters in Atlanta, Georgia, expressed solidarity with their peers in Charlottesville by covering a civil war statue in Piedmont Park with red paint.
Elsewhere in the south, in Kentucky, the morning after the clash in Charlottesville, a statue memorializing Confederate soldier John B. Castleman had been defaced with orange paint.
Even the Senate building in Tennessee was infiltrated by anti-white supremacists who wanted to cover up a bust commemorating Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
The bust was covered with a black shirt and home-made signs – which read “slaver,” “traitor,” and “klansman” – were placed at the base.
Meanwhile, a social media campaign to name and shame members of the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has gained enormous support from anti-Confederate sympathizers.
An anonymous Twitter user – with the handle @YesYoureRacist – encouraged followers to identify “Nazis marching in Charlottesville,” while posting many images and videos of the crowd of white men carrying torches that lit up their faces.
Shortly after the call, names of people in the pictures began flooding in, and soon those who had been identified were confronted with severe consequences, including being fired from their jobs.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Drew/AP Images]