The statue of Thomas Jefferson was attacked Tuesday evening by protesters at the university he founded.
According to local media in Charlottesville, about 100 students, faculty and local residents shrouded the statue in black and hung a banner on it saying “Black Lives Matter” and that “White Supremacy” should commit a sexual act.
Others in the small rainy-night crowd carried signs reading “Thomas Jefferson is a racist and a rapist” and chanted “No Trump, No KKK, no racist UVa.”
The defacement came one month after riots over a white-nationalist protest against a similar shrouding by the city council of statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
“One month ago, we stood on the front lines in downtown Charlottesville as all manner of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and neo-fascists swarmed the area,” a speaker told the crowd, according to the Charlottesville Daily Progress. “Two months ago, the Ku Klux Klan rallied in their safe space, fully robed and fully protected by multiple law enforcement agencies who brutalized and tear gassed peaceful counter-protesters.”
Protestors surround shrouded statue of Thomas Jefferson pic.twitter.com/oEkoM5jGCO— The Cavalier Daily (@cavalierdaily) September 13, 2017
Tuesday night’s rally was officially a protest against the university’s failure to implement a series of demands made last month by the Black Student Alliance.
According to the Cavalier Daily, threats of violence began bubbling up at the latest protest when observers and counter-protesters began to take pictures.
The protesters began chanting “Stop staring! Start fighting!” at people watching them.
One man trying to live-stream the protest on Facebook said the protesters demanded his name and he asked that his video be shared as a safety measure.
“They asked for my name, told them I’m happy to talk. Please share! They’re coming after me for filming,” Tanner Hirschfeld posted in his own comment field.
There was no indication that police — either city or campus — tried to prevent or immediately undo the attack on the Jefferson statue, which is university property.
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