UNC braces for more Silent Sam unrest Saturday in Chapel Hill

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ByJoel Brown via WTVD logo
Saturday, August 25, 2018

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) -- Five days after Silent Sam came crashing down, UNC-Chapel Hill is preparing for the potential of more unrest surrounding the contentious Confederate monument.

University officials sent an alert Friday about a possible rally on campus and in the town of Chapel Hill this weekend.

"We are mindful that the current atmosphere is highly charged, and protests that begin peacefully do not always remain that way," the statement read. "For this reason, we urge you not to attend."

It's still a mystery who's even planning the rally. The town says no permits have been requested or issued.

But the Daily Tarheel, the campus newspaper, reports several faculty members received an email this week, from a person claiming to be former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.

The email said Duke and other "pro-western groups", who support the monuments, would be on campus on an "upcoming weekend" -- but wasn't specific.

Protest Backlash from UNC Board of Governors

Thom Goolsby, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, took to YouTube to rail against the protesters who tore Silent Sam down.

"We will not allow anarchy to reign on our campuses," Goolsby said in the video.

Friday, criminal charges were filed against three people in connection with the desecration of the statue.

In an interview earlier, Goolsby cheered the arrests.

"Their crimes will be brought from the initial misdemeanors to felonies," Goolsby told WWAY. "And we'll do everything we can to see that they pay the full penalty for the crimes they committed."

In his YouTube post, Goolsby signaled the Confederate monument could be back in place on campus, by Thanksgiving.

"North Carolina General Statute 100-2.1 requires that the Silent Sam Memorial be placed back on the campus within 90 days of it being pulled down," he said.

Rally Street Closures

As a "precaution," the town of Chapel Hill said there will be no parking allowed Saturday along the 100 and 200 blocks of East Franklin Street and the 100 block of Henderson Street through the duration of the event.

Any cars parked there, after 7 a.m. Saturday will be towed.