Silent Sam protesters: 'We're not going to stop'

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Protesters say they'll ramp up their efforts to have the statue removed.

Some UNC students said they think the university is trying to silence them in the fight about the Silent Sam Confederate statue, and they marched through campus Tuesday to send a message.

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A group of about 100 students and community activists chanted "What side are you on?" as they passed by Chancellor Carol Folt's office.

"We're not going to stop," said protester Michelle Brown. "I don't feel comfortable walking by this statue every day."

Recently, UNC has sent undercover officers to attend Silent Sam sit-ins, raising the ire of protesters.

"It's like we're criminals who did something wrong," said protester Destiny Green. "There were tents, people were talking with each other, having dialogue with each and discussion. It was very peaceful, so why they needed to infiltrate just doesn't make any sense to me."

University officials would not grant interview requests from ABC11 but referred to a statement released last week, which said in part, "The recent use of an undercover officer on our campus was limited in both time and scope and was necessary because of extraordinary circumstances that included the very real potential for a violent outbreak at any time."

Several students are going to speak out at the UNC Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday morning.

"We're asking that the university petitions the North Carolina Commission to revisit Silent Sam before April," Brown said.

A New York-based law firm representing a dozen students and a professor has sent a letter to the university threatening to file a lawsuit if the statue isn't removed.

Joel Curran, the UNC-CH vice chancellor for communications, said in September, "We do not have the unilateral legal authority to move the monument."

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