Local

Counterprotesters reported at scene of anti-Silent Sam vigil at UNC Chapel Hill. Developing story

Counterprotesters are pictured near the Silent Sam Confederate monument on the UNC Chapel Hill campus at around 1 p.m. Saturday.
Counterprotesters are pictured near the Silent Sam Confederate monument on the UNC Chapel Hill campus at around 1 p.m. Saturday. mschultz@heraldsun.com

Several counterprotesters waving Confederate flags and holding signs opposing the removal of Confederate monuments are confronting protesters demanding the removal of UNC Chapel Hill’s Silent Sam Confederate memorial on the UNC campus.

The original protesters had been conducting a sit-in at the site of the Silent Sam statue since Tuesday.

One of the protesters, who identified herself as UNC student Tahjamar Warren called The Herald-Sun shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday to say her group was being harassed by the counterprotesters.

“Some harassing people are circling the (Silent Sam) statue ... taunting us and making vague threats,” Warren said.

Warren said of her fellow sit-in protesters: “We are not armed.”

She said the sit-in protesters consist of UNC students and sympathetic members of the community that want the Silent Sam statue to be removed and relocated.

On Twitter, the UNC Black Congress posted the following message accompanying a photo of four counterprotesters on Franklin Street headed toward the Silent Sam statue: “Spotted on franklin st. CALLING ON BODIES TO COME SUPPORT AND PROTECT IN NUMBERS (WHITE COMRADES) #SilentSSamsitin.”

At the scene, The Herald-Sun reporter Joe Johnson said approximately 100 protesters — only six of them counterprotesters — were peacefully encamped opposite each other at about 3 p.m. Saturday. The anti-Silent Sam group was encircling the monument. The counterprotesters carried a pair of Confederate flags and some carried signs saying “Don’t tread on me.”

This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day. Check back for updates.

  Comments