Second dedication plaque on Franklin Street has been stolen
UPDATE: Activist group Take Action Chapel Hill has reported that the plaque honoring the woman Julian Carr described whipping in his dedication speech for Confederate monument Silent Sam has been stolen.
The plaque, which was placed at the intersection of East Franklin and Henderson streets on Tuesday, read "In honor of the N*gro Wench. She ran to this University for safety and, for the color of her skin, was beaten at its gates. We fight in her name."
On Friday, a video was posted to Confederate 901's Facebook page, entitled "Antifa lost their first monument at Chapel Hill."
"I got a phone call tonight, guys," one of the men in the video said. "Yeah, got a phone call tonight from an individual, that says, 'You know what, them little plaques that they got, Antifa, up there that UNC-Chapel Hill put up, one of them is in patriot possession; it's in the Confederate possession right now.'"
The whereabouts of the plaque are unknown. Take Action Chapel Hill has created a GoFundMe to fund the artist in making a new plaque.
UPDATE: The plaque honoring James Cates that was placed in the Pit on Tuesday has been removed by the University.
The University cited the facilities use policy, which states no temporary structure shall be erected or placed on lawn space beneath the drip line of trees. Temporary structures are allowed in several places across campus, including the Pit "to the extent their use is approved by the applicable University official in connection with the scheduling process."
The University and activists from Take Action Chapel Hill disagree over the interpretation of the law and how it applies to the plaque.
The University said the statute cited to keep the plaque from being removed only applies to plaques owned by the state.
The plaque reads: "In honor of James Cates. In 1970, this young Black activist lay bleeding to death in the Pit, stabbed by members of a white supremacist gang. James Cates’ blood is on our campus. We fight in his name.”
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The statute is a section of Senate Bill 22 and dictates that a monument, memorial or work of art owned by the state may not be removed, relocated or altered in any way without the approval of the North Carolina Historical Commission unless the monument poses a threat to public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition.
According to the act, if a object of remembrance on public property is temporarily relocated, it must be replaced after no more than 90 days. If the object is permanently removed, it must be relocated to a site of similar prominence, honor, visibility, availability and access that are within the boundaries of the jurisdiction.
The plaque reads, "In honor of the N*gro Wench. She ran to this University for safety and, for the color of her skin, was beaten at its gates. We fight in her name."
Similarly to the Cates plaque, a notice citing N.C. General Statute 100-2.1(b) as a reason for it not being able to be removed, is attached to the its base.
The artist who created the plaque said in a statement said the plaque was installed as an act of transfiguration.
"We are reclaiming the built landscape," the statement said. "It is not too late to do what those before us would not or could not; it is not too late for a moral awakening and a true reckoning with the past."
The statement said the plaques were installed without permission and called the law a monument to white supremacy.
"James Cates and the N*gro Wench are scarred into North Carolina's history. The law, written to protect white supremacy, says these objects of remembrance, hand-crafted to challenge white supremacy, may not be removed," the statement said. "If they are, it will be clear who the State believes we should be allowed to remember."
A dedication plaque for James Cates, a UNC student who was stabbed to death by white supremacists in the Pit in 1970, has been placed in the Pit. pic.twitter.com/GJp7WSnbez