Takiyah Thompson was arrested on August 15 after helping to topple a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, following the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. She was charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor), damage to real property (statue as a fixture, Class I Misdemeanor), participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony) and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony). She was subsequently released on a $10,000 bond and could face more than two years of incarceration.
Thompson talked to Amy Goodman and Juan González at Democracy Now! yesterday about why she participated in the rally, why she was arrested and what she thinks is next for this country.
Thompson on why she participated in the rally:
I participated in a march and a rally. And I decided to climb to the top of the Confederate soldiers statue and put the rope around its neck and throw the rope down to the crowd. And the crowd could decide if they wanted to pull it down or not. And I did this because the statue is a symbol of nationalism, and it’s a symbol of White nationalism. And the type of White nationalism I’m talking about is the type of White nationalism that is sending me death threats on Facebook. I’m talking about the type of White nationalist that, you know, has killed a woman in a protest. We’re talking about the type of White nationalism that would drive a car at high speeds into a crowd of women and children. And I think vestiges of that, and I think anything that emboldens those people and anything that gives those people pride, needs to be crushed in the same way that they want to crush Black people and the other groups that they target.
Thompson on why she was arrested and why she’s in good company with her resistance:
The sheriff, [Mike] Andrews, and the establishment want to make a political prisoner of me, and they want to make an example of me. And they want to scare people and they want to scare Black people, and they want to scare people of color, and they want to scare people who are reclaiming their agency. And they can’t, as we have seen. I haven’t been keeping up with the headlines, but listening to the headlines from today, you can’t keep your foot on people’s neck forever. And people are going to rise up, as we’re seeing throughout this country. We’re seeing the rise of White nationalism, and we’re seeing the rise of actual resistance. And I’m not talking about writing your senator. I’m not talking about casting a ballot in a voting booth. I’m talking about voting with your actions. And people are doing that right now.
Watch the full interview above.