Man charged during Confederate monument protest in Raleigh

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Sunday, February 10, 2019
Man charged during Confederate monument protest in Raleigh
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Man charged during Confederate monument protest in Raleigh

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A man was charged after protesters and counter-protesters flocked to the State Capitol on Saturday to voice their opinions over Confederate monuments.

Officials said the charges were filed during the "Crush Confederates at Our Capital" protest.

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William Barrett Powell, 28, of New Bern Avenue, was charged with injury to personal property and simple assault.

Following Saturday's annual HKonJ march, the protest Powell was involved in started up at the Capitol, calling for the Confederate monuments to be removed.

"The fact that we still have these confederate monuments is obnoxious. And it's way past time. They got to go," said Avery Walter, an NC State graduate student who was encouraged by the diversity of protesters.

RELATED: HKonJ 2019 march and rally draws crowds in Raleigh

Many of those who took part in Saturday's demonstration have spoken out against other Confederate markers and monuments in the Triangle.

"They start to ask questions about it. And that's what we want to do. We want to start dialogues, we want to start conversations. And it's not something that happens overnight," said Skye McCollum, an NC State student, when asked about the importance of establishing a presence.

While many of those conversations centered around the history of the statues, protesters also touched on more recent events, specifically ICE raids across North Carolina which resulted in nearly 200 arrests over the past week.

"ICE has been ripping our immigrant comrades from our family this week. We need to stand with them," explained protester Jody Anderson.

A small group of counter-protesters did show up, some waving Confederate flags.

In August 2018, a task force appointed by the governor recommended against relocating three Confederate monuments from the State Capitol, but also urged adding plaques and memorials honoring African-Americans.

"We are out here, and we're going to keep coming back for the removal of these statues because they have a very blatantly racist history and they do not represent what we want in North Carolina," McCollum said.