7 arrested as protesters clash on UNC campus after Silent Sam’s toppling

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Several people were arrested as various crowds gathered Saturday morning around the UNC Confederate monument where a statue known as “Silent Sam” stood until Monday. 

As of 1:20 p.m., seven people were arrested in the area of McCorkle Place near the monument area, UNC-Chapel Hill officials said.  

Most of the arrests were for assault. Another arrest was for destruction of property and the seventh arrest was for resisting an officer, according to UNC officials. 

No one arrested is from the “UNC community,” officials later said.

As of 12:50 p.m., most of shouting from various protest groups had ceased and people appeared to be milling around the area, which just an hour earlier involved chanting, screaming and some violence.

At times the anti-fascist protesters turned on police — shouting at them for making arrests after protesters grabbed a Confederate flag and tried to set it on fire.

One person was arrested for confronting a man carrying a Confederate flag, another protester was arrested after punching an anti-Silent Sam protester.  

UNC-Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill town officials issued a warning Friday about a possible rally and urged students not to attend.

At one point, a group waving Confederate battle flags stood with their back to the monument’s base.

An opposing group stood in front of them chanting — some holding signs that read “Always Antifacist” and “Destroy White Supremacy.” 

A group known as “The Oathkeepers” posted online they would be on the UNC campus Saturday morning. On Facebook, an opposing group posted they would show up to “Keep Fascists Out of Chapel Hill.”

At least one protester with a bandana over his face was led away by police. 

Around 10:30 a.m,  a group of motorcycle riders paraded down Franklin Street as two men with Confederate flags stood on a street corner. 

Police led away one man who confronted a man carrying a Confederate flag near the monument.  

Anti-Silent Sam protesters were also out in force, chanting “Racists go Home” and confronting those who support the monument. One man was arrested after punching one of the anti-Silent Sam protesters.

At one point, protestors briefly blocked the intersection of Franklin and Henderson streets, temporarily interrupting the pedestrian and vehicular flow of traffic, Chapel Hill town officials said.

The rally comes after Monday’s toppling of the UNC Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.” 

University officials said that some students and others have received threats since the incident.

Police banned parking along the 100 and 200 blocks of East Franklin Street and the 100 block of Henderson Street.

Chapel Hill Transit suspended service on Cameron Avenue between South Columbia and Hillsborough streets, because UNC closed Cameron Avenue between Raleigh and Columbia Streets.  

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