A UNC graduate student was arrested Monday afternoon after pouring a mixture of what she said was red paint and her own blood on Silent Sam on UNC’s campus Monday afternoon.
Eyewitnesses say the individual – Maya Little – was arrested at the scene. UNC officials did not identify the person arrested but said the individual would be charged with vandalism.
Little, a UNC student who has been one of the lead organizers of protests against Silent Sam, released a statement after a video appeared to show her being arrested Monday.
Little wrote in a statement issued to WCHL and other outlets following her arrest that this was “an opportunity to teach.”
She called Silent Sam a “symbol of UNC’s commitment to white supremacy.”
She said that she had thrown her “blood and red ink on this statue as a part of the continued mission to provide that context that the Chancellor refuses to.”
The statue has been a target of protests for decades with organizers calling for its removal. Those rallies have been consistent over the last academic year, beginning with a protest on the first day of classes for the fall semester and continuing through Monday, during the final exam period.
UNC Chancellor Carol Folt has said she would have the statue removed due to public safety concerns, if she had the authority. But she has maintained that she is restricted by a law passed by the Republican-led General Assembly that restricts the removal of “objects of remembrance.”
Little directed much of her letter directly to Folt saying, “Chancellor, the blood is on your hands.”
Little wrote that the statue needs to be removed because the “threat of Neonazis and white supremacists marching on our communities has made it more urgent.”
Associates of Little say that no bail was needed for her release after appearing before a magistrate in Hillsborough Monday afternoon. Little is scheduled to appear in court next Monday on one charge of defacing a public statue, according to court documents.
You can read Little’s full statement here.
Photo via Will Arrington