Maya Little, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was arrested again and charged with inciting a riot and assaulting a police officer after leading a protest against her university’s plan to bring a Confederate statue back to campus.
The 26-year-old turned herself in at the Orange County Courthouse on Tuesday, UNC spokesperson Randy Young told NPR.
On Monday, Little led a protest rally after the university announced its recommendation that the statue of Confederate soldier “Silent Sam” be relocated to a proposed multimillion-dollar history and education center, located one mile from where protesters tore it down last August.
Little says she has now received death threats.
University Chancellor Carol Folt, who proposed that the statue be moved to the center, tweeted on Monday: “I understand there are strong emotions about this proposal. As the nation’s first public university, Carolina has a long and complicated history we must tell.”
I understand there are strong emotions about this proposal. As the nation’s first public university, Carolina has a long and complicated history we must tell. We are recommending to build a center to tell all of that history, which includes the Confederate Monument. https://t.co/4nvoID9sTv
— Carol Folt (@ChancellorFolt) December 3, 2018
In a statement, Folt said she preferred to move the “Silent Sam” statue off campus but this wasn’t an option. State law prohibits the transfer, altering or removal of monuments on public property without approval from North Carolina’s Historical Commission, according to NPR.
Little is pursuing a doctorate degree in history. She said Folt could have removed the statue before lawmakers passed legislation in 2015.
Folt’s proposal was “overwhelmingly approved” by the school’s trustees. The next step will be an assessment of the plan by the state’s Board of Governors on Dec. 14, reports The Associated Press.
Little and other protestors gave a speech at Monday’s demonstration. Then the crowd marched in the street and chanted “No KKK, no fascist USA” and “Cops and Klan go hand in hand.” Video captured scuffles between students and university police.
Demonstrators are marching on Franklin Street. pic.twitter.com/k0g7W6TrFH
— The Daily Tar Heel (@dailytarheel) December 4, 2018
“I was charged with assault on an officer, a charge that has been commonly used by UNC police when they can’t find anything else to charge activists with, and inciting a riot, both misdemeanors,” Little told The News & Observer. “The only danger and violence present last night was once again caused by university police who came equipped to a student protest with riot gear and tear gas canisters.”
Graduate student Mark Porlides, 31, was also charged with assault on a police officer and resisting, delaying or obstructing, the UNC spokesperson told NPR.
The bronze statue, erected in 1913, was given to the school by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The university website notes that 40 percent of students enrolled at the time of the Civil War enlisted, “a record not equaled by any other institution, North or South.”
It adds: “Sam is silent because he carries no ammunition and cannot fire his gun.”