Protesters have continued calls for the removal of the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam, which stands on UNC’s McCorkle Place. A new phase of this protest was launched on Monday in the form of a boycott of commercial goods on the Chapel Hill campus.
Alexander Peeples is the co-president of the Campus Y at UNC. Peeples wrote in an article in the Daily Tar Heel that the boycott would include UNC Student Stores, the bottom of Lenoir Dining Hall, Alpine Bagel, Wendy’s, Starbucks and Blue Ram Café.
Peeples wrote that “Silent Sam is not simply a history lesson, it is a currently standing monument to both the violence of the Civil War and of the early 20th century when it was erected.”
Silent Sam and other Confederate monuments have been in the public spotlight after a white supremacist rally against removing a statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month where a counter protester was killed.
Some UNC students have also threatened a federal lawsuit if the statue is not removed. They contend it’s continued presence is a violation of several sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Peeples wrote in the DTH article that the boycott would not include the “student-run nonprofit coffee shop The Meantime, an alternative lunch set-up by Nourish UNC behind the Campus Y or local restaurants on Franklin Street.”
Peeples added that this boycott was organized with the input of the UNC Workers Union, which Peeples described as the “most vulnerable community” that could be impacted by the boycott.
Organizers are calling for the boycott to last until October 18, when the university goes on Fall Break.
UNC chancellor Carol Folt has maintained she would order the statue be removed, if she felt the university had the unilateral, legal authority to do so. Folt said that she is blocked from issuing that directive thanks to a 2015 law passed by the Republican-led General Assembly.
The North Carolina Historical Commission is scheduled to meet on Friday, but the agenda does not explicitly list a discussion on Silent Sam’s future. Previous reports had indicated the commission could discuss the monument on the Chapel Hill campus. The full agenda for Friday’s Historical Commission meeting can be found here.
Correction: This post originally said that the Historical Commission would discuss options regarding Silent Sam, but that has been revised to reflect the agenda item.