WATCH: Moment UNC protesters topple 'Silent Sam' on campus amid chants - "This racist statue has got to go"
A group of protesters at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus toppled the infamous Confederate statue "Silent Sam." The incident occurred on Monday night, fulfilling the decades-long goal of the ones opposed to the public display of Confederate statues. "Silent Sam" had been standing on the UNC campus since 1913.
Reports state that nearly 250 students from the University, faculty members, and local residents rallied on Monday, carrying banners condemning white supremacism. The demonstrators then decided to take down the bronze statue, dedicated to fallen Civil War-era soldiers, with ropes.
A first-year student at the University, Natalia Walker, while talking to The Daily Tar Heel, said: "I feel liberated — like I'm a part of something big. It's literally my fourth day here. This is the biggest thing I've ever been a part of in my life ..."
While an Asian studies professor at the University, Dwayne Dixone, said: "I watched it groan and shiver and come asunder. I mean, it feels biblical. It's thundering and starting to rain. It's almost like heaven is trying to wash away the soiled, contaminated remains."
The UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, called the monument divisive, however, she also released a statement condemning the incident, calling it "unlawful and dangerous."
"As you are probably aware, a group from among an estimated crowd of 250 protesters brought down the Confederate Monument on our campus last night. The monument has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people not only on our campus but throughout the community," she said.
"However, last night’s actions were unlawful and dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured. The police are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage. I appreciate the actions taken by the police to ensure the community’s safety and will keep you informed as additional information is available," Folt added.
Reports state that once the statue came crashing down, multiple protesters began shoveling dirt on it and stamping on it while chanting: "Hey, hey, ho, ho, this racist statue has got to go."
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also issued a statement on Monday night, stating that he "understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change, and he shares their frustration, but the violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities."