More Arrests Made In Toppling Of Confederate Statue

More Arrests Made In Toppling Of Confederate Statue

11:26am Aug 16, 2017
A damaged nearly century-old Confederate statue lies on a pallet in a warehouse in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. Investigators are working to identify and charge protesters who toppled the Confederate statue in front of a North Carolina government building, the sheriff said Tuesday. The Confederate Soldiers Monument, dedicated in 1924, stood in front of an old courthouse building that serves as local government offices. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

More protesters were arrested Wednesday for participating in a demonstration that toppled a Confederate statue in North Carolina.

The statue in Durham came down Monday night when a protester climbed a ladder to attach a rope and demonstrators on the ground pulled the bronze soldier from its pedestal.

On Wednesday, Dante Strobino and Ngoc Loan Tran were led away in handcuffs when they came to a court hearing for the woman who climbed the ladder.

The Durham County Sheriff's office said Tran and Strobino are charged with two felonies related to inciting and participating in a riot that damaged property. The woman who climbed the ladder, Takiyah Thompson, was charged with the same counts Tuesday.

The three are affiliated with the Workers World Party, which helped organize the Durham protest in response to deadly violence over the weekend during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"We know that the only thing that's going to take down these Confederate monuments, as we saw in Durham last night, is organized people's power," Tran said Tuesday at a news conference by the group. "We have to build a fighting movement against white supremacy."

Durham's Confederate Soldiers Monument, depicting a uniformed rebel soldier leaning against his rifle, had stood since 1924 in front of a courthouse building that now serves as local government offices.

The sheriff's office said Wednesday that they plan more arrests. Deputies took video during the protest but declined to intervene because the sheriff said he wanted to avoid a hostile confrontation and injuries.

Late Tuesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for the removal of any remaining Confederate monuments on state property, directing state officials to study the cost and logistics of moving them to historical sites or museums.

"We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery," Cooper said in a statement. "These monuments should come down."

Many others are on property owned by local governments, and none of the monuments can be removed without legislative approval, under a law the Republican-controlled General Assembly passed in 2015. Cooper, a Democrat, called for its repeal, but is likely to face an uphill battle, given the GOP's veto-proof majorities.

North Carolina is one of only three states — along with Virginia and Georgia — with 90 or more Confederate monuments, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. A state tally shows at least 120 Civil War monuments around North Carolina, the vast majority dedicated to the Confederacy. Around 50 of them are at contemporary or historic courthouses.

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