Crowds Of Residents Line Up To Turn Themselves In After Activists Remove Confederate Statue

Crowds of res­i­dents lined up out­side the Durham, North Carolina deten­tion facil­i­ty on Thursday to turn them­selves in after activists top­pled a Confederate stat­ue in the city ear­li­er in the week. According to The Fader, the group was attempt­ing to get charges against the activists, includ­ing Takiyah Thompson, dropped.

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, in a speech to the crowd. “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.”

Although reports stat­ed that there were over 100 peo­ple at the deten­tion facil­i­ty, most were there to sim­ply turn them­selves in “sym­bol­i­cal­ly“, in sup­port of three activists direct­ly con­nect­ed to the top­pling. According to The Herald Sun, two of the activists were iden­ti­fied as 37-year-old Elena Everett and 24-year-old Aaron Caldwell. The third person’s name was not imme­di­ate­ly avail­able.

Folks lin­ing up to be arrest­ed at durham jail sup­port­ed by hun­dreds of com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers

Wow! Line of res­i­dents in Durham, NC attempt­ing to turn them­selves in for ‘crime’ of remov­ing Confederate Monuments

Thompson, 22, was arrest­ed on Tuesday evening, after a WWP press con­fer­encein which she claimed that she had done the “right thing” in remov­ing the stat­ue, called the Confederate Soldiers Monument, and demand­ed amnesty for all involved.

Everyone who was there — the peo­ple did the right thing,” she said. “The peo­ple will con­tin­ue to keep mak­ing the right choic­es until every Confederate stat­ue is gone until white suprema­cy is gone. That stat­ue is where it belongs. It needs to be in the garbage. … That stat­ue glo­ri­fies the con­di­tions that oppressed peo­ple live in and it had to go.”

Three oth­ers were also arrest­ed on Wednesday in con­nec­tion with the top­pling. The activists, 36-year-old Peter Gull Gilbert, 35-year-old Dante Emmanuel Strobino, and 24-year-old Ngoc Loan Tran, had been attend­ing Thompson’s court hear­ing at the time.

On Thursday, author­i­ties barred the pub­lic from attend­ing Everett, Caldwell, and the third unnamed activist’s court hear­ing. Charges against them were not imme­di­ate­ly avail­able. Previous charges against the four oth­er activists includ­ed dis­or­der­ly con­duct by injury of a stat­ue and dam­age to real prop­er­ty — both mis­de­meanors — as well as par­tic­i­pa­tion in a riot and incit­ing oth­ers to riot, which are felonies.

So far, the activists remain unde­terred. “We are fol­low­ing a his­tor­i­cal lega­cy of stand­ing up to the pow­ers that be, to this 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.”