Black Lives Matter protesters targeted a prominent statue of former President Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday night at the university that he founded.
Protesters at the University of Virginia adorned the statue — which was posed with a sign that read “TJ is a racist and rapist” — with a black shroud. Banners crying “Black Lives Matter!” were also draped across bushes and stone partitions at the college’s Rotunda.
Protest fast facts
- More than 100 students, residents, and faculty members gathered on the UVA campus for the protest, which was held in response to August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
- The protest was held to enforce a list of demands provided to UVA by the Black Student Alliance in August. Some of the demands, which were compiled in a list called “Reclaim Our Grounds,” included:
- The removal of Confederate statues from the UVA grounds
- The denouncing of white supremacist groups by the university
- The requirement of student education on the history of white supremacy
- An increased inclusion of African-American undergraduates admitted to the university
- “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist UVA!” was a common mantra among those attending the protest
- The shroud was eventually removed from Jefferson’s statue early Wednesday morning
- Local news authorities reported that there was no visible police presence during the Tuesday night protest
(Content warning: Video contains rough language):
Protestors surround shrouded statue of Thomas Jefferson pic.twitter.com/oEkoM5jGCO
— The Cavalier Daily (@cavalierdaily) September 13, 2017
Some of Black Lives Matter’s aims in its own words
- “We are committed to acknowledging, respecting, and celebrating difference(s) and commonalities.”
- A desire to create and cultivate a “community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.”
- A commitment to “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family” by supporting the black community through “villages.”
- “We are committed to practicing empathy.”
- “We are committed to embodying and practicing justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.”