8 charged in Saturday Silent Sam protest

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Monday, September 10, 2018

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Streets were shut down Saturday night in Chapel Hill as two opposing groups gathered on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus for another Silent Sam protest.

Officials said that eight people were arrested over the course of the protest.

The individuals and their respective charges are listed below:

  • Jayna Corinne Fishman, DOB: 3-9-1996/Assault on Campus Police Officer
  • Julia Tatiana Pulawski, DOB: 8-14-88/Resisting Public Officer/Assault on Campus Police Officer
  • Brandon Alexander Webb, DOB: 7-8-1991/Disorderly Conduct at a Protest (setting off smoke bomb)/Resisting Public Officer
  • Jody Anderson, DOB:10-29-1996/Assault on Govt Official
  • Joseph Baldoni Karlik, DOB: 7-29-1991/Resisting Public Officer /Failure to Disperse
  • Jaya Athavale, DOB: 2-21-2000/Resisting Public Officer Failure to Disperse
  • Joshua Abram Macharka, DOB: 1-13-1993/Assault Govt Official /Resist Officer/Weapons on Educational Property (Possession of 2 knives)/Failure to Disperse
  • Christopher David Wells, DOB: 5-21-1988/Resisting Public Officer/Failure to Disperse

Before the protest got rowdy, a potluck organized by the Defend UNC group was in place, but everything escalated when the New Confederate States of America arrived, wearing Confederate flags.

The group that was against the statue being in place was shouting things like "Nazis go home." The group even threatened to tear down the statue if it was put back up.

After roughly an hour of yelling, the pro-Silent Sam group was willingly escorted by police away from the pedestal.

As the group attempted to leave, people were seen fighting and at least one person was seen being held to the ground by police officers.

WARNING: The video below contains explicit language.

No information regarding arrests has been released.

The protests resulted in East Cameron Avenue being closed to traffic between Columbia and Raleigh Streets until further notice.

Click here to see more footage from the past Silent Sam protests.

The event as it happened

Around 5:20 Saturday, 10 Silent Sam supporters - many of whom had gathered earlier in the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center parking lot - were escorted onto McCorkle Place, where they stood around the site of the Silent Sam statue.

Most of the supporters held Confederate flags.

The area was barricaded, with police stationed outside the barricade. There was a second barricade set up, parts of which were also guarded by police.

Initially, counter-protesters, who greatly outnumbered Silent Sam supporters, directed a series of chants mainly towards those gathered around the site of the statue.

As the rally continued, some chants were aimed towards officers patrolling the area. One counter-protester vocally urged fellow counter-protesters to leave the officers alone.

Officers, some of whom were station behind bicycles, occasionally ordered counter-protesters to back up.

Silent Sam supporters were escorted out around 6:30. In an attempt to clear a path, officers used their bicycles to force people off. A counter-protester who identified himself as an NC State student said he was cut twice on the leg by the bicycle as he was forced back.

"The next step is - we're not going to let them put it back up. If they put it back up, it's not going to last," he said, as a fellow counter-protester tended to his cuts.

A few moments later, on the other side of McCorkle Place, police arrested a counter-protester. The commotion drew a big crowd to the area, as the counter-protester was eventually taken inside.

Counter-protesters continued to engage with officers, some yelling and cursing. In an attempt to clear the area, authorities once again ordered counter-protesters to back up, at times pushing them back.

Authorities also deployed blue smoke during the interactions, eventually ordering everybody off of McCorkle Place. Once the area was clear, they lined up along the edge before they slowly retreated.

Prior to the arrests, a pair of counter-protesters shared why they came out Saturday.

"The Silent Sam statue memorial is a memorial of hatred, and it's a memorial of bigotry. And it has no place on campus," said Freya Kelcy, a UNC student who expressed frustration with Chancellor Folt's handling of Silent Sam.

"It's their right to say what they want, but when what they want becomes hurtful, something needs to change," added Alyssa Wrighton, an NC State student.

Silent Sam supporters declined to comment to media as they were leaving.

Prior to Silent Sam supporters showing up at McCorkle Place, a group of counter-protesters had set up a potluck where they collected cans of food.

They said they planned to donate the food. Officers confiscated it, saying the cans were not allowed on the site, and pledged to eventually return it. A few counter-protesters expressed their frustration with the policy, and asked for more information.

UNC released a statement Saturday night about the demonstration:

Around 6:45 p.m. UNC Police cleared McCorkle Place under NC General Statute 14-288 due to disorderly conduct. Law enforcement used smoke to maintain safety and order. There were eight arrests in connection to the gathering on McCorkle Place this evening.

The names of those arrested and their respective charges were not released as of Saturday evening.