Black Lives Matter, Group Covers UVA Jefferson Statue, Lists Demands

Elias Hubbard
September 14, 2017

The group covered Jefferson's statue in black. The university's president said one person - who was not identified - was arrested for public intoxication.

The president of the University of Virginia is rebuking Black Lives Matters protesters hours after they shrouded a statue of the college's founder, former President Thomas Jefferson, in a black tarp. The group of about 100 people included students, faculty and community members.

About 62 percent of students, meanwhile, agreed with the city's decision to remove the equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, and 67 percent approved of the decision to rename "Lee and Jackson Parks to Emancipation and Justice Parks". "Two months ago, the Ku Klux Klan rallied in their safe space, fully robed and fully protected by multiple law enforcement agencies who brutalized and tear-gassed peaceful counterprotesters".

Despite student opposition to altering the Jefferson statue, it became the focal point of a September 12 protest during which a crowd of approximately 100 students, faculty, and others marched around the monument while chanting slogans such as "No Trump, No KKK, no fascist United States of America!" It takes time to heal as a community and we must do so together.

President Donald Trump warned in the wake of last month's protests that statues of Jefferson would be the next target of protesters.

Similarly, the Virginia GOP described defacing Jefferson's statue as "the next step in the extreme left's movement to erase our history", calling it a "criminal offense, plain and simple".

"We can not tolerate lawlessness and extreme political correctness masking as free speech any longer", he added.

"We can and must condemn the violence of one month ago and simultaneously recognize Jefferson as a rapist, racist, and slave owner", she said. "The visibility of physical violence from white supremacists should not take our attention away from condemning and disrupting more "respectable" racists that continue to control the structures that perpetuate institutional racism".

Conversely, 44 percent of those polled said they were satisfied with the administration's response to the rally and violence, 37 percent said they were unsure, and only 19 percent were dissatisfied. The crowd implored one another to remain steadfast in their protestations.

Sullivan's statement also addressed Jefferson's contradictory past, noting his "many contributions to the progress of the early American Republic", including championing religious freedom and authoring the Declaration of Independence.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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