I Attended the South Carolina Statehouse Rallies (Photos and Videos)
Two days ago, the South Carolina Statehouse hosted a series of rallies on the capitol grounds. I was there, so I wanted to share a few of the photos I took.
First, the Loyal Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from Pelham, NC planned to protest the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. The Black Educators and Lawyers for Justice, the New Black Panther Party, and the RbG Black Rebels held counter-protests earlier in the day.
Law enforcement was maximum, they did a great job snuffing out skirmishes between protesters and only arrested five. At one point near the end of the rally a militarized group of six showed up with semi-automatics (with I’m presuming riot rounds/rubber bullets) and tear gas but they quickly disappeared. I overheard two police chiefs talking about their six best men on the roofs, and a police chopper circled the capitol during the entire rally.
What the media, in my estimation, has neglected to report is that the majority of the crowd was racially mixed and dedicated to anti-racism. Most stories, like this CNN one, report that Klan supporters clashed with New Black Panther supporters. But in more cases that I saw, Klan supporters were clashing with unaffiliated anti-racists. As I canvassed the crowds, I also encountered many of the nicest people despite the tense and hot atmosphere.
The rally was ended an hour early as tensions rose, and the Klan representatives were chased back to the parking garage by an angry, yet diverse, crowd.
Here are a few of my photographs, taken with my camera phone (sorry shutterbugs). I got permission from each person I photographed:
I’m including a few videos and some other photos I took as well:
This is a clash between a white anti-racist and a flag toter.
Klan/Confederate flag supporters who started skirmishes were escorted out by the police, as a counter-protester drummed them out:
As promised, two more videos:
This one is of a debate between anti-racists and a strange guy carrying an anti-sodomy sign:
The Klan departed after the rally, confronted by protesters: