Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy Columbia marches on

Posted by Paul Bowers on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 9:52 AM

The Columbia branch of the Occupy movement will march from the State House to City Hall and the police station today at 4:30 p.m. Gov. Nikki Haley told the group last Wednesday it could no longer assemble there after 6 p.m., and an e-mail from Occupy Columbia says the group plans to thank Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and the city police for "their refusal to assist Governor Nikki Haley in what they perceived to be 'unjust arrests.'"

Speaking to a local TV station, Mayor Benjamin questioned the motives behind the governor's decision to give protesters the boot.

"This isn't a political issue. It's a constitutional issue," Benjamin said. "It's not been made clear to us or our lawyers or the chief of police that laws have been broken. Unless there's been some laws that have been broken, then we are not going to participate in what we perceive as being unjust arrests."

The S.C. Progressive Network is calling for people to gather on the State House grounds at 6 p.m. in protest of the governor's order. The whole spectacle will be streaming live on the Occupy Columbia website starting at 4:30 p.m.

Occupy Charleston, meanwhile, is still awaiting permission from the city to occupy Marion Square. The group submitted a written request on Nov. 7 to camp out in the park indefinitely.

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