Hundreds of protestors rallied outside the Durham, N.C., courthouses Thursday and attempted to surrender to police for destroying a Confederate statue.
Participants viewed the demonstration as a symbolic act of protest against the illegality of destroying Confederate statues, the Huffington Post reported. While as many as 50 attempted to turn themselves in, only some were actually present at the statue’s destruction. Police declined to arrest any of the protesters aside from three who had outstanding warrants, bringing the total number of people arrested for destroying the statue to eight.
“The history of these monuments, specifically when and why they were created, tells us clearly that they weren’t intended to commemorate the history of the Confederacy,” city council member Jillian Johnson told HuffPost. “But rather to send a message of white supremacy and intimidation to black people during Jim Crow. There is no way to keep these statues in public spaces without continuing to send that message.”
Police blocked the surrendering group from entering the jail and forced them to leave the courthouse when the fire marshal declared the indoor protest a fire hazard. Johnson told HuffPost that police were “targeting specific people,” despite many of the protestors being complicit in the destruction of government property Monday.
As of Friday, Police have arrested eight people throughout the week for destroying the statue. Those arrested received felony charges for inciting and participating in a riot and misdemeanor charges for destroying public and private property, according to a police statement.(RELATED: Woman Who Destroyed Durham Confederate Statue Is Pro-North Korea Marxist)
“All of us are willing to share the cost of our freedom,” Protest organizer Serena Sebring told reporters. “All of us are here, and we are willing to take whatever responsibility, whatever consequences come along with the removal of that statue.”
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