After Activists Topple Confederate Statue, Crowds 'Turn Themselves In'

Over 100 supporters showed up to "turn themselves in" in a symbolic stand against the arrests of the activists responsible for toppling a Confederate monument.


After a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, was toppled over, more than 100 people showed up at the door of the local detention facility to “turn themselves in” in a powerful move of solidarity with the activists responsible.

The crowds lined up in front of the facility on Thursday all claiming to have been behind the incident in an attempt to get charges brought against activist Takiyah Thompson, 22, and others dropped.

While speaking before the crowd, activist and Workers World Party (WWP) vice presidential candidate Lamont Lilly said, “It was a community all together who did that — who was responsible for that toppling of racism.”

“Very often it does take one person to be the spark, to be the initiator … But it takes a movement, it takes a mass of people to support that and keep the movement sustainable,” he said.

Thompson was arrested on Tuesday after speaking during a WWP press conference.

She told reporters that what she did, namely toppling the statue, was the “right thing.” But while she asked for all activists behind this incident to be pardoned, local law enforcement later took her and three others into custody. They were Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 35, Peter Gull Gilbert, 36, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24.

“Everyone who was there — the people did the right thing,” Thompson stated. “The people will continue to keep making the right choices until every Confederate statue is gone, until white supremacy is gone. That statue is where it belongs. It needs to be in the garbage. … That statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people and it had to go.”

While critics claim the activists are hypocritical for being part of a political organization supporting dictatorships like North Korea, it's clear that to many, their actions meant something. After all, over 100 locals saw their actions as praiseworthy enough to stand in line and symbolically take the blame. 

The tactic may have not immediately worked, but it sure brought a lot of extra attention to their cause.

Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Stringer

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