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Watch: protesters drag down Confederate soldier statue in Durham, North Carolina

Another one bites the dust.

AP Images

On Monday evening, a crowd of anti-fascist protestors took matters into their own hands and toppled the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, North Carolina, in response to the violence in Charlottesville that killed one and injured 19 over the weekend.

A crowd of protestors chanting, “No KKK, no fascist USA,” wrapped a yellow rope around the statue honoring “the boys who wore the gray,” and pulled the statue off its pedestal and to the ground. Organizers in Durham called for an “emergency protest” in response to the violence that erupted in Charlottesville over plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

In response to Charlottesville, Baltimore, and Lexington, Kentucky, have recently announced their plans to also remove monuments linked to the confederacy. However, protestors in Durham decided to bypass the legislative process completely and remove the statues themselves.

The statue now joins the list of Confederacy related monuments that have been removed from their original location. However, it appears that this is the first monument to be forcefully removed without prior legislative consent. (One statue in Alabama was toppled by a car crash in 2016, apparently accidentally.)

Although North Carolina state law prohibits the removal of statues on public property that, “commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history,” officers watched and filmed as the protestors illegally removed the statue, and the Durham Police Department said in a statement that no arrests were made at the time.

“Because this incident occurred on county property, where county law enforcement officials were staffed, no arrests were made by DPD officers,” the statement says.

On Tuesday morning, the Durham County Sheriff's Office released a statement saying, “collectively, we decided that restraint and public safety would be our priority,” but they will seek charges against the protesters who pulled down the statue.

In response, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted Monday evening, “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments.”

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