Police have arrested more than 20 people since protesters took down the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam on August 20. The vast majority of those taken into custody have been anti-racist activists who have been part of counter-protests against groups including ACTBAC—identified as a “neo-Confederate hate” organization by the SPLC—and other similar organizations that have repeatedly rallied at the site. In one instance, police acted as protective chaperones to neo-Confederates demonstrating at Silent Sam’s empty pedestal, but pepper sprayed anti-racist counter-protesters.
Activist Maya Little—a UNC graduate student who last April protested Silent Sam by dousing the statue in a mixture of red paint and her own blood—is now facing unfathomable consequences for her actions. UNC-Chapel Hill’s Honor Court has charged her with violating the honor code by “stealing, destroying, or misusing property,” meaning she faces the possibility of expulsion. She also was arrested and could be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail. Silent Sam has been painted multiple times before by sports fans ahead of football games. There is no record of anyone being arrested or facing academic disciplinary action in connection with those displays.
As Little and other protesters continue to peacefully oppose white supremacists that have been coming to campus after Silent Sam’s toppling, they need support. There are multiple ways to aid them in their efforts:
DONATE TO THE LEGAL FUND FOR ACTIVISTS
Visit the Anti-Racist Activist Fund and contribute to the legal costs of those currently facing prosecution. Share the site with your networks. You can also keep up with what’s happening with UNC anti-racist activists by visiting Take Action Chapel Hill and following Defend UNC on Facebook.
TELL THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO DROP THE CHARGES
Call DA Jim Woodall and tell him to drop all charges against anti-racist activists facing prosecution, including Maya Little. His number is 919-644-4600.
Example script: “I’m calling today to demand you drop the 25 cases against the anti-racist protesters at UNC. I consider your prosecution of these protesters support for racism and white supremacy. Drop these charges now.”
CALL UNC-CHAPEL HILL CHANCELLOR CAROL FOLT
Tell Chancellor Folt that you oppose the arrests of students and activists, police brutality, and the return of Silent Sam. You can reach her office at 919-962-1365.
ASK UNC-CHAPEL HILL ADMINISTRATORS TO DROP THE HONOR COURT CASE
Send a letter to Aisha Pridgen, Director of the Office of Student Conduct, at [email protected] and Courtney Bain, Graduate and Professional School Student Attorney General, at [email protected]. Keep your emails strong yet respectful; do not engage in personal insults or profanity. If you need an example of a letter you can make your own, there’s one here.
BUY A SILENT SAM “RUST IN PIECES” T-SHIRT
These fantastic t-shirts go for just $15, and proceeds benefit the Anti-Racist Activist Fund. Check it out, here.
SIGN THE PETITION
Add your signature to this petition demanding UNC drop its Honor Court case against Little.
Thank you for doing whatever you can! Check out, below, a video of Little describing why she chose to protest Silent Sam:
The Make It Right Project is dedicated to working with multiple groups—activists, artists, historians and media outlets—to remove Confederate monuments and develop post-removal protocols to tell the truth about history.