Late last week, Smash Racism Raleigh held a rally to call for the removal of Confederate monuments currently on the grounds of the North Carolina state house. The Make It Right (MIR) Project supported the coalition—which includes members of North Carolina State University’s chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America and other local anti-racist groups—with design help and protest signage. The group was also prepared for a handful of white nationalist counterprotesters who showed up, at least one of whom tried to make trouble, but whom the coalition refused to engage.
In 2017, on the heels of the violence in Charlottesville, North Carolina’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper filed an official request with the state historical commission to move the Confederate monuments to the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site. One year later, the body voted 10-1 to not to relocate the statues, but to instead add historical context about slavery. At the time, MIR Director Kali Holloway criticized the committee for choosing “moral ambivalence” over reckoning with historical truths.
Photos from last week’s protest in Raleigh, the first of many to come, are included below.