Tuesday evening, students and faculty of the University of Virginia, about 100 in all, gathered around a statue of its founder, Thomas Jefferson, and draped it in black fabric and a “Black Lives Matter” banner that said, “F*** White Supremacy.”
The protest was organized on the month anniversary of the Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville and was in response to UVA denying a Black Student Alliance request to remove Confederate plaques from the rotunda and to ban white supremacists from campus.
Those gathered at the statue chanted, “No Trump, no KKK, no racist UVA.” Signs read, “Thomas Jefferson is a racist and a rapist.”
“One month ago, we stood on the front lines in downtown Charlottesville as all manner of white supremacists, neo-Nazis an neo-fascists swarmed the area,” a protester said. “We can and must condemn the violence of one month ago and simultaneously recognize Jefferson as a rapist, racist and slave owner.”
“The visibility of physical violence from white supremacists should not take our attention away from condemning and disrupting more ‘respectable’ racists that continue to control the structures that perpetuate institutional racism,” the protester continued.
Onlookers were also shouted down: “Stop staring, start fighting!”
The Cavalier Daily, UVA’s student paper and oldest daily newspaper in Charlottesville, posted video of the protest to Twitter: