Two more Confederate soldiers have fallen from their pedestals.

Joyous cheers erupted from several hundred anti-racist protesters outside North Carolina’s old Capitol grounds Friday as the first soldier toppled headfirst into bushes. After ripping down the second statue, protesters dragged the metal soldiers through downtown and strung up one by the neck from a street sign. 

A third soldier remained standing atop the 75-foot “For Our Confederate Dead” monument downtown, the base of which protesters covered in black and red spraypaint. Police, who stood guard around the monument in a standoff with protesters earlier in the evening, did not intervene as the statues came down. 

The topplings came after weeks of Black Lives Matter protests in the city and one day after Raleigh Police arrested a juvenile protester, igniting outrage in the community and city leaders. Charges were later dropped against the Black teenage protester and Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown vowed to conduct an internal investigation of the incident.

Still, tensions were high as protesters marched downtown throughout the day in honor of Juneteenth. As sundown approached, a group of several hundred protesters converged around the Confederate monument, at one point attaching two yellow ropes to the soldiers. But several dozen police officers quickly swooped in, cutting the ropes and surrounding the monument. A stand-off ensued, with protesters refusing to back off.

Then, abruptly, the police officers walked away, allowing the protesters to climb onto the

monument. Among them was activist Kerwin Pittman, who raised a fist in solidarity as the crowd surged with excitement around him. The protesters demonstrated peacefully for about an hour, chanting in unison. A brief spat broke out between a small group of protesters which was quickly disbanded.

“Why are there children out here fighting for something we should have had already?” One young Black protester said through a megaphone. “That’s all we asked, is to stop killing Black people. My ancestors built this shit and we could tear it to the ground if we wanted.” 

Not long after, a protester climbed up onto the monument and attempted to push one of the soldiers over, which appeared to be bolted to the stone base. Protesters passed up rope and pulled together in unison. Seconds later, the soldier was yanked from its pedestal, plummeting headfirst toward the ground. It bounced once before landing in some bushes. 

The protesters rushed toward the downed soldier, screaming with excitement as a group began kicking it. Then they circled around to the other side of the monument and riped down the second soldier. 

Police kept their distance. 

Protesters then marched down Salisbury Street,  dragging the statue behind them before tying it up on the Hargett Street sign pole. Protesters danced and cheered in the street before marching onward, leaving the soldier hanging by the neck. The second statue was left in front of the Wake County courthouse. 

Soon after, heavy rain began to fall and the protesters appeared to disperse peacefully. 

This is a developing story.

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One reply on “Raleigh Protesters Topple Two Confederate Soldier Statues from Monument at State Capitol”

  1. RE; “…protesters dragged the metal soldiers through downtown and strung up one by the neck from a street sign. ”
    —Great… Now we are hanging effigies…. to protest hatred!
    Very mature.
    I cannot wait for the air strike on Mount Rushmore to blow those massive faces of slave owner Founding Fathers away so they cannot ‘hurt’ people anymore.
    People….They were all a product of their times…
    The good and the bad of those times is simply….HISTORY.
    Property damage and destruction is not doing a damn thing to address the real inequities of racism. It makes for grand Press, but not much in the way of real change.
    The group gestalt angst to promote change is becoming an excuse for frenzied rampaging.
    Perhaps Herman Wouk said it best;
    “When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

    Can we not strive for CONSTRUCTIVE action, rather than destructive?

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