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Police arrest seven at protest for toppling Confederate soldier statue

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DCNFVandana Rambaran, DCNF

Seven people were arrested Saturday after protests broke out in North Carolina as the statue of a Confederate soldier was toppled earlier this week.

A “violent mob” of about 300 protesters used ropes on Monday to pull down Silent Sam, a century-old statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that commemorates Confederate soldiers, according to a video statement on Thursday by UNC board member Thom Goolsby.

Over 100 people gathered near the statue on Saturday, some brandishing Confederate flags and promoting the historical significance of the statute, while others waved signs urging to “Destroy White Supremacy,” according to Reuters.

School officials are urging that the statue be resurrected within the 90 days as required by state law, but off campus to avoid violent protests at the university, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said in a press conference Saturday.

“We all have to recognize that the Confederate monument is a flashpoint for demonstrations and interruptions on campus and we believe it will continue to be a lightning rod,” Folt said.

Some protesters who were arrested face charges of assault, while three who helped pull down the statue face misdemeanor charges of riot and defacing a public monument, a university police spokesman told Reuters Friday.

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