“We are academics. We are scholars. We know our history. There’s a role for civil disobedience and for disobeying the law when it is unjust.” Professors, TAs and students both graduate and undergraduate have become groups of signatories on various letters protesting Silent Sam. With the letters being shared publicly, opposition to the statue's on-campus relocation has gleaned national support.
From the events leading up to its toppling to the plans for its relocation.
Traffic was stopped in all directions as demonstrators marched through both lanes of Franklin Street on Monday night. Demonstrators leading the way held a large sign that read, "Put it up. We'll tear it down. Anti-racists run this town." The protest was in response to the proposal by Chancellor Carol Folt and the UNC Board of Trustees to create a $5.3 million "History and Education Center," a freestanding single-use building, to house the Confederate Silent Sam monument on the UNC Odum Village site.
Tensions were high as the Daughters, all of whom trace their lineage to Confederate army servants, were met with protesters outside of their headquarters.
The boycott includes 36 professors, almost 140 graduate students, many of whom work as teaching assistants and in other positions, and a handful of other University members.
The online account most involved in posting about UNC students is also the account most frequently interacted with by Robert Bowers, the alleged murderer of 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue last month. This discovery has made the constant influx of digital death threats and online harassment seem that much more real to the local activists on the receiving end. “White supremacists are being radicalized online in the same way that ISIS radicalizes recruits,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.
A 20-year-old man from Raleigh faces the possibility of deportation as a DACA recipient after he faced charges of indecent liberties with a child and possession of marijuana which were later dropped. The case calls into question the ethics of the government being able to deport residents who have little to no criminal charges.
The UNC Graduate and Professional Student Honor Court's high-profile trial of Maya Little has risen again in the community, but this time to question how objective one of the judges was.
Following the toppling of Confederate monument Silent Sam, students and other organizations held protests on campus. UNC Police, Chapel Hill Police and other law enforcement departments from around the state have since faced criticism for their handling of these protests.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy and UNC's collaboration led to Silent Sam's construction in the 1910s. The University and the UDC still have a relationship, as highlighted by private meetings between the two concerning the Silent Sam monument within the past year. The UDC carries a low profile today, instructing its members to never speak with media, according to its 2015 Confederate Courier newsletter. But it has not been quiet in its defense of Silent Sam.
Two activists with Hillsborough Progressives Taking Action, including UNC professor Altha Cravey, protest a United Daughters of the Confederacy meeting.
A sign made by a Hillsborough Progressives Taking Action activist in protest of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.