CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A few hundred people rallied Tuesday night on the campus of North Carolina’s flagship university to protest over a Confederate statue, surrounding the bronze monument and later blocking traffic on the college town’s main drag.
The gathering at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill focused on a statue known as “Silent Sam” that has stood in a main campus quadrangle since 1913.
People chanted “tear it down” while uniformed officers watched from behind temporary metal barriers ringing the statue, a figure of a Confederate soldier.
“Hey, hey. Ho, ho. This racist statue has got to go,” the crowd also chanted.
They carried signs that said “Police, what are you protecting” and “Losers don’t usually get trophies.”
The protest was largely peaceful, but two people were arrested by UNC police and a man was arrested by Chapel Hill police, CBS affiliate WBTV of North Carolina reports.
The station also reports a man was wearing a handkerchief around his nose and mouth, which is against the rules of protesting on the UNC campus.
Around 9:45 p.m. Chapel Hill police confirmed a man was arrested for “wearing a mask on public property” and “resist, delay or obstruct a public officer.” Both charges are misdemeanors.
Greg Williams, a member of Industrial Workers of the World, was later identified as the man who was arrested, Chapel Hill police said. The identity and charges against two other people were not available.
Several speakers addressed the crowd with a megaphone. One was Mario Benavente, a university senior who said the statue glorifies slavery. “It celebrates the subjugation of black and brown people,” he told the crowd.
The crowd later marched through Franklin Street toward what protest leaders said was the home of the university system president. After blocking traffic for…