On Tuesday evening, a group of about 100 Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. to deface the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on campus, according to local reports.
The protesters covered the statue with a black tarp and put a sign on the nation’s founding father that read “TJ is a racist and rapist.”
Members of the rally climbed on the statue screaming that Jefferson is a rapist and racist, while others chanted, “no Trump, no KKK, no racist UVA.”
According to local reports, students, faculty, and community members were present for the 8 p.m. protest with many of them wearing BLM shirts and holding posters.
The group’s speaker called on the university meet the Black Student Alliance’s ten demands. In the request, the BSA group urged the college to put a plaque on the Jefferson statue that explains to students and community members that he was a white supremacist. The demands also ask UVA to change other campus buildings that are named after former slaveholders and rename them to honor leaders of marginalized groups.
The demands also request UVA to change other campus buildings that are named after former slaveholders and rename them to honor leaders of marginalized groups.
The Black Student Advocacy group also demanded the university to admit more African American students to the university, and bring in additional African American faculty and staff.
The counter protest comes just a month after the violence in Charlottesville between white supremacist and Antifa groups, that left 19 people injured and killed Heather Heyer. The BSA also argued that the university should be transparent in its history and mandate that every student be educated on “white supremacy, colonization, and slavery as they directly relate to Thomas Jefferson, the University, and the city of Charlottesville.”
The university has since removed the black tarp from the Jefferson Memorial. Thomas Jefferson founded the university in 1819.
You can read the full list of the Black Student Alliance’s demands here.