Earlier this week, activist Taqiyah Thompson climbed a ladder and tied a rope around a confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina, leading to its destricution by a group of demonstrators. On Wednesday, she was arrested and charged with two felonies. Yesterday, crowds gathered outside police offices in the town in solidarity with Thompson, according to Think Progress.
The groups were hoping to convince police to drop the charges against Thompson by demonstrating that an entire community was responsible for the statue's dismantling, not just her and the other three activists, Peter Gull Gilbert, Dante Emmanuel Strobino, and Ngoc Loan Tran, who were also arrested.
“It was a community all together who did that—who was responsible for that toppling of racism,” said Lamont Lilly, activist and Workers World Party (WWP) vice presidential candidate. “Very often it does take one person to be the spark, to be the initiator like Bree Newsome [who removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds in 2015]. But it takes a movement, it takes a mass of people to support that and keep the movement sustainable.”
Many of the supporters were "turning themselves in" to police as a symbolic gesture.
The public was barred from attending the hearings of more activists arrested: Elena Everett, Aaron Caldwell, and an unnamed third. What they were charged with was not released to the public.
“We are following a historical legacy of standing up to the powers that be, to these racist, fascist systems, and we’re on the right side of history,” Tran said on Wednesday. “We’re not going to let the police or this jail intimidate us.”
[Photo: Twitter @AuburnSeminary]