I have seen many comments from those who applaud the removal of #silentsam, but oppose the means by which it was removed. So here is a non-comprehensive list of efforts #silencesam activists have taken historically & today. All met w silence or hostility by #unc administration
1/ First some history--from what we know direct action against #silentsam began in 1968 in response to MLK's assassination (pic courtesy of @uncarchives), although calls for its removal came earlier (for ex, @dailytarheel published an op ed in March 1965, exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/…)
2/ Since 1968, protests around the statue ebbed and waned. However, in the recent past (at least since 2014) neo-confederates/white supremacists have used #silentsam as a rallying point. So, some of the 1st actions by contemporary #silencesam activists have been counter-protests
3/ Now onto the v contemporary #silencesam movement--recent, consistent opposition to #silentsam at #unc began with a protest in August 2017, after which students began a 24-hour sit-in, though @UNCPolice promptly removed sit-in materials.
4/ Opponents of #Silentsam have also tried addressing the illegal nature of the statue. #UNC Attorney Hampton Dillinger sent a letter to admins on behalf of students and faculty, arguing that the statue creates a racially hostile learning environment & therefore violated fed law.
5/ #silencesam activists have distributed informational flyers to passersby, particularly during sports games, to provide context for #silentsam. This is when activists began to receive death threats.
6/ In October 2017 #silencesam activists initiated @UNCBoycott against commercial goods on campus. @NourishUNC offered affordable food to boycotters, but when @ChancellorFolt #UNC told admins "shut this
down immediately" 4 lack of permits, Nourish generously offered food 4 free
7/ #silencesam activists created temporary placards around #silentsam and surrounding areas to add context to the statue (as if it were in a museum.) @UNCPolice ripped these up and threw them in the trash in April 2018.
8/ Members of the #silencesam movement have also regularly attended monthly Public Comments sections of #UNC's Board of Governors meetings to ask the statue be removed (the BOG hasn't responded since April 2017) See the most recent comments here:
9/ Many #UNC academic departments have issued statements to administrators, openly opposing #SilentSam's presence. See for example @UNChistory 's statement: history.unc.edu/silentsam/.
10/ In April 2018, Maya Little, in an act of #civildisobedience, contextualized the statue's racist history by pouring her own blood and red paint on #SilentSam
11/ The #UNC community rallied around Maya. You can see some of the public statements of support, including from various academic departments, here: silencesam.com/mayalittle/ These statements also uniformly call for the removal of #silentsam
12/ A mystery group of distinguished professors at #UNC, known as G17 (@G17UNCLoud), threatened to remove the statue with force, giving the administration a strict deadline. They took no action though, and have since disappeared.
13/ #silencesam activists attended a #UNC's Board of Trustee meeting, after administration announced it had spent nearly $400,000 in one year to protect #SilentSam. Protestors held signs showing all ways that money could have benefited community (amp.newsobserver.com/news/local/art…)
14/ In conclusion, activists have attempted to #silencesam for over 50 years at #UNC & the current movement used MANY techniques to do so. Yet still today @ChancellorFolt & admins actively CHOOSE to ignore pleas of SS opponents (See this July statement pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2018/07/28/unc…)
15/ Well beyond being non-responsive to #UNC activists, administrators have surveilled their own students--an undercover @UNCPolice officer was caught infiltrating the sit-in! (So, the recent decision 2 enlist the help of the CBI, comes as no surprise)
16/ #UNC administration has also shown that their interests lie with donors, rather than the wants and needs of our campus community. (See various @topplethemall tweets, for example: )
17/ Indeed, UNC Board of Trustee member Allie Ray McCullen refers to #SilentSam protestors as "entitled wimps" in official emails
18/ That's all I have for now, but I think it shows sufficiently the way different actors in the broad #SilenceSam movement have exhausted the "civil" means of attracting #UNC admins' attention. If we were ever to remove #SilentSam, we needed to do so together, as a community.
19/ I forgot to mention that wonderful @UNChistory faculty (Lloyd Kramer, @william_sturkey, @malindalowery, Fitz Brundage, etc.) and @kellyimca have written excellent op eds in favor of removing #silentsam. Some of them can be found here: silencesam.com/silent-sam-in-…
20/ I can’t believe I forgot this, but the inspiring @jerryjwilson and other #UNC education PhD students recently vowed to wear a noose around their necks until #silentsam was removed
Hey y'all, please consider donating to the Durham Solidarity Center bond fund durhamsolidaritycenter.org/bondfund/ to secure the release of the 6 people arrested today defending against pro-#silentsam white supremacists.
21/ Some comments rightly point out I omitted The Real #SilentSam Coalition, a group founded in 2011 to "provoke critical thought" on monuments/buildings in CH/Carrboro. The group successfully (2015) sought the renaming of Saunders Hall, named so after KKK leader William Saunders
22/ However, admins insisted on “Carolina Hall” rather than Coalition’s preferred #HurstonHall to honor black UNC alumna Zora Neale Hurston. #UNC's Board of Trustees responded w a 16-year freeze on renaming other buildings. The Coalition is the predecessor of the current movement
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