National

Posted: August 17, 2017

Dozens line up to turn themselves in for ‘crime’ of toppling Confederate monument


By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

DURHAM, N.C. —

Eight people have been charged with tearing down a Confederate monument Monday in Durham, North Carolina. 

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On Thursday -- in solidarity with those charged with toppling the statue -- about 100 Durham residents crowded into line at the Durham County Sheriff’s Office to turn themselves in in an effort to get the charges dropped. 

A picture that was widely shared on Twitter shows a very large crowd snaking around the building. In a video, the crowd can be seen marching, holding signs and chanting, “Thank you, we love you.” 

“Dozens are here to take responsibility for the removal of that statue, which should make it clear that there are so many of us that support what happened,” Serena Sebring, regional organizer for Southerners on New Ground, told The Herald Sun on Thursday. “We do not want charges, especially felony charges, pressed against people who acted in our best interest. All us of are willing to share the cost of our freedom. All of us are here, and we willing to take whatever responsibility, whatever consequences come along with the removal of that statue.” 

Raul Mauro Arce Jimenez, Elena Everett, Aaron Alexander Caldwell, Taylor Alexander Jun Cook, Peter Gull Gilbert, Ngoc Loan Tran, Dante Emmanuel Strobino and Takiyah Thompson are among the eight charged in connection with pulling down the monument Monday. 

Related: Woman who allegedly helped topple North Carolina Confederate statue arrested

Thompson, 22, is a member of the Workers World Party, which is a Communist-platform organization that is anti-racism, anti-imperialism and supports LGBTQ causes and the Black Lives Matter movement, according to WTVD

Thompson can be seen on video climbing a ladder and pulling down the statue by tying a noose around its neck.  

“Again, let me say, no one is getting away with this,” Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said on Monday. 

Members of the crowd of people who tried to turn themselves into authorities Thursday were turned away, and despite their demonstration, the charges will stand. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a Tuesday statement that there is a better way to remove the monuments than the method used by the protesters, but said he “understood the frustration of those fed up with the pace of change.” 

“I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity,” Cooper said.

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