Around 100 Demonstrate In Pack Square Following Death At White Supremacist Rally In Virginia

Aug 13, 2017

Around 100 people demonstrated in Pack Square Sunday night.  They were there to honor Heather Heyer, the counter protestor who was killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The crowd steadily grew to the point police arrived and closed the roads around the upper part of Pack Square.  Chants, signs, and sing-alongs dominated the event, which encircled the Vance Monument.  The choice of that site was intentional, as sporadic chants of “tear it down” could be heard.  Flyers were also passed out calling for the 65-foot high obelisk completed in 1898 to be torn down.  The monument honors Zebulon Vance, who served as North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War and U.S. Senator during the post-war Reconstruction period.  He owned slaves before the war and helped fight against the full granting of civil rights to freed blacks after the war.  A 2-year-old North Carolina law essentially prohibits local governments from removing statues like the Vance Monument without approval from the state.  Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer has said the future of the monument should be decided by a ‘community conversation’, so removal is highly unlikely for the time being.  Other proposals include renaming it or contextualizing the monument with signs telling the full history of Vance, whose likeness does not appear on the monument.