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Posted: August 17, 2017

Woman who allegedly helped topple North Carolina Confederate statue arrested


By Jeffrey Caplan, Rare.us

DURHAM, N.C. —

The woman who allegedly climbed a ladder to the top of a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, and put a rope around its neck so the gathered crowd could pull it down has been arrested.

>> Watch the clip here

Takiyah Thompson, 22, who reportedly admitted she was the one who climbed the ladder — and she said she’d do it again — was taken into custody shortly after protesters held a news conference Tuesday afternoon at North Carolina Central University, according to WTVD in Raleigh-Durham.

She was charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500, and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500.

>> WATCH: Protesters topple Confederate statue in North Carolina

Those who took part in the toppling of the Confederate statue held the news conference Tuesday to call for any charges related to the incident to be dropped. However, according to WTVD, more arrests could be coming. The video showing the toppling of the statue went viral.

Thompson was given a $10,000 unsecured bond. The World Worker’s Party Durham chapter, of which Thompson is a member, has set up a legal defense fund to help fight her case in court.

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

“The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue,” said Thompson, a student at N.C. Central University. “We are tired of waiting on politicians who could have voted to remove the white supremacist statues years ago, but they failed to act. So we acted.”

More statues could be attempted to be torn down by protestors, according to World Worker’s Party activist Lamont Lilly, who said, “I hope so,” when asked by ABC 11 if more statues would be toppled. She said the group believes the statues are monuments to racism.

>> Read more trending news

The monument that was ripped down was of a Confederate soldier holding a rifle. It was erected in 1924, and inscribed on it are the words “In memory of the boys who wore the gray.”

“I feel like it’s important to tear down these vestiges of white supremacy,” Thompson told WTVD.

Read more here.


Related

Julia Wall /The News & Observer via AP

Takiyah Thompson

Julia Wall /The News & Observer via AP

Takiyah Thompson

This framegrab from a video shows Takiyah Thompson, a member of Workers World Party and student at N.C. Central University being arrested by Durham County Sheriff's deputies Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in Durham, N.C. Thompson was arrested in connection with the removal and vandalism of a Confederate statue Monday. Thompson, was arrested after activists held a press conference Tuesday. (Julia Wall /The News & Observer via AP)

WATCH: Protesters topple Confederate statue in North Carolina

Violence that erupted over the weekend at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, added momentum to a wave of efforts across the South to remove or relocate Confederate monuments.

>> Watch the news report here

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

A crowd of more than 100 protesters in Durham, North Carolina, used a rope to topple a statue of a Confederate soldier Monday evening outside the courthouse. Seconds after the monument fell, protesters began kicking the crumpled bronze monument as dozens cheered and chanted.

>> Watch the clips here

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, spoke out about the incident on Twitter.

>> Read more trending news

"The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable, but there is a better way to remove these monuments," he wrote.

>> See the tweet here

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

AP Photo/Steve Helber/AP

There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

In wake of the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, continued conversations are emerging about Confederate monuments.

The Associated Press reported that the “Unite the Right” rally was held by a group of “loosely connected mix of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists with disjointed missions.” The group gathered to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a nearby park.

>> Read more trending news

Despite the generalized association of Confederate monuments and the Confederacy with the Southern region of the United States, such monuments can be found across the country. USA Today reported there are at least 700 and possibly more than 1,000.

Here are some of the hundreds of Confederate monuments in different regions of America.

Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia: At the center of the initial protests at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Vandalized with graffiti of the words “Black Lives Matter” in 2015, it has been in the city since  1924. The bronze statue is located in Emancipation Park, formerly named Lee Park after Lee himself. The New York Times reported that City Council voted to remove the statue in February, but it was sued by those against the removal in March. The statue remains as the court case continues.

Confederate Memorial Fountain in Helena, Montana: The granite fountain is one of many across the country created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy which says one of its objectives is to “collect and preserve the material necessary for a truthful history of the War Between the States and to protect, preserve, and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.” During the Civil War, Montana wasn’t a state. Constructed in 1916, over 50 years after the war, it’s the only monument to the Confederacy in the Northwest.

Memorial to Arizona Confederate Troops in Phoenix: In the Capitol’s Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, Arizona has another monument created by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Sitting among other memorials, the monument to Arizona Confederate soldiers was erected in 1961.

Stone marker on Georges Island in Boston: Placed on the Massachusetts island by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1963, the marker refers to the Civil War as “the War Between the States” and commemorates Confederate soldiers imprisoned at Fort Warren, also located on the island.

Gen. James Longstreet statue in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: An equestrian statue of Longstreet -- similar to that of Lee’s, is in Gettysburg National Military Park. Built in 1998, the memorial is located on the battlefield where the Battle of Gettysburg -- considered to be one of the most important in the Civil War -- occurred. Longstreet was a subordinate of Lee.

Confederate Civil War soldier statue in Columbus: The Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Ohio contains two monuments. One, installed in 1902, is a bronze statue of a daCivil War soldier standing on top of a granite arch holding a rifle in front. Another is of a 3-foot-tall boulder, which is under the arch. It was installed in 1897.

Confederate Monument at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles: A monument of confederate soldiers is located in the burial site of many celebrities. The service of some 30 Confederate veterans from many Confederate states is commemorated in the 7-foot granite monument. An inscription on the monument says it was erected by the Confederate Monument Association. It is maintained by the Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy

Tiki torch manufacturer 'appalled' at protesters

The Washington Post/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tiki torch manufacturer 'appalled' at protesters

The head of the Georgia-based company that makes Tiki torches says he was offended by images of white supremacists marching through Charlottesville, Virginia, using his company's products.

>> Read more trending news

W.C. Bradley Co. President and CEO Marc Olivie said on Tuesday he has special reason to feel deeply offended.

“Obviously, we cannot control the way people use our torches, but the fact the people who promote bigotry and promote hatred are using these torches was really shocking to me,” he said.

Many of the protesters who marched Friday carried Tiki torches.

The Tiki brand is a product of Lamplight, a Wisconsin company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bradley company.

Lamplight, in a Facebook post Saturday, said, in part, "TIKI Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and (we) are deeply saddened and disappointed."

Olivie said the torches are a shining light symbolizing joy, not division and hatred.

“I would hope people would continue to use them for enjoyment and being together with friends and family. And that's the way these products should be used,” he said.

Tiki brand's 70 employees were also upset to see their product used in the controversial march.

Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

President Donald Trump was criticized for appearing to condemn both the white nationalists and those who were protesting them Saturday. 

In a news briefing Tuesday, he attempted to clean up his earlier remarks, but mostly succeeded in reigniting backlash:

"I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it."

Many took to social media in response to this statement:

 >> Read more trending news

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

What is the ‘alt-left’?

At a Tuesday news briefing outside Trump Tower in New York, President Donald Trump said the “alt-left” bore some blame for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday.

>> Read more trending news

“You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and it was horrible, and it was a horrible thing to watch,” he said. “I think there’s blame on both sides.”

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?” Trump asked when questioned about violence at the rally.

But what is the “alt-left”?

According to many experts, there is no such thing as the “alt-left” and the term is simply an attempt by those who subscribe to far-right ideology to shift attention and criticism back to their opponents. 

According to Sean Lawson, associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah, the “alt-left” is a “direct response to the attention placed on the alt-right, a group with whom many Republicans would rather not be associated.”

In 2016, The Washington Post made a similar argument, saying “alt-left” is used as “a way to point out that there are also extremists on the left,” but said the term has been “coined by its opponents and doesn’t actually have any subscribers.”

The term “alt-right” is itself controversial. 

It is the name that some white supremacists and white nationalists use to refer to themselves and their system of ideals. The Southern Poverty Law Center says the alt-right “is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces using ‘political correctness’ and ‘social justice’ to undermine white people and ‘their’ civilization.”

The organization considers it an extremist ideology.

The Associated Press, in its style book for journalists, discourages the use of the term “alt-right” altogether, instructing journalists to avoid it without an accompanying definition, and to use instead “neo-Nazi” or “white supremacist.” 

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