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Aug 21, 17

Asheville, NC: Crowd Answers Call to Tear Down Confederate Monuments

On Friday Aug. 19th a crowd of Asheville residents descended on the Robert E Lee memorial downtown with crowbars and power tools in order to do what the politicians refuse to, take down the monuments to the Confederacy. According to eyewitnesses four people attempted to remove the plaque to Lee as a crowd with large banners surrounded them effectively hiding them, allowing them to go at it for 30 minutes.

From the press statement on behalf of those arrested:

“Today at 7:43am, four community activists were arrested in downtown Asheville while attempting to remove the controversial Robert E. Lee Monument that sits in front of the Vance Monument. Organizers released the following statement to contextualize their action:

Saturday will mark a week since Heather Heyer was murdered in Charlottesville while resisting white supremacists who came to defend the Robert E. Lee monument. Heather’s death comes after years of black people being slaughtered by the police and white silence in the face of institutionalized violence.

One of the calls to action made by Charlottesville organizers was to remove all confederate monuments. Today, organizers in Asheville made the decision to answer that call by attempting to remove our Robert E. Lee monument.

We understand that the removal of this monument would be symbolic of removing white supremacy from the very center of our City. We know that this must be connected to the deep work of ending systemic racism and white supremacy culture here.

Those arrested included Hillary Brown, Rev. Amy Cantrell, Adrienne Sigmon and Nicole Townsend. As of 9am, all four were freed.”

Of course there are hipster cops in Asheville.

Fortunately, the four were only charged with misdemeanors, however they have all been doxxed by white supremacists and are now receiving death threats as a further statement has outlined:

“Last summer, in the midst of the campaign that surrounded the murder of Jerry Williams by Asheville police, organizers received death threats, were harassed and followed by nazis, fascists, and white supremacists. We kept quiet about those threats because we needed folks to focus on Jerry’s family and the work that was being done to hold police accountable. I now think our silence was a mistake. We supported one another. But folks were deeply traumatized by the violence and, perhaps even more so, by the isolation we all felt in witnessing or experiencing the trauma without community support.

The four people involved in the action to remove the Robert E. Lee monument in Pack Square are being doxxed by white supremacists (doxxing means publishing all contact info including home addresses, phone numbers, and work places of a person online and other public forums). We are also receiving death threats.

Asheville has a problem with complicity in systematic oppression. It has a problem with white silence. But it also has its fair share of violent racists who are highly invested in scaring and harming people of color, queer people, jewish and muslim folks, and anyone who works directly on their behalf.

We need you to speak up. We need you to talk to us about why we are doing the work we’re doing. We need you to oppose, in word and deed, the systems and people who are harming the most marginalized. We need you to understand the urgency and act accordingly.”                                               

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