Update 7:22 pm- 26 Citizens were arrested in the driving rain starting at about 6:20 pm. The arrests were broadcast live on WLTX and other TV stations. All of the equipment and supplies were evacuated prior to the arrests. Tonight the lawn of the SC statehouse is empty for the first time in 33 days. It has been cleared of all the things which were there, the clutter, the dishes, the sleeping bags and the freedom. Thanks for making the greatest stand for Democracy in South Carolina in a generation.
Update 5:30 pm- Citing 17 thousand dollars in security and lighting expenses Gov. Nikki Haley ordered #occupycolumbia off the statehouse grounds on two hours notice at 4 pm today, effective 6 pm. OccupyColumbia evacuated its supplies and equipment with a U-Haul truck.
Gov. Haley spent large parts of the 33 days on Out of State fundraising events, flying corporate supplied private jets to around the US collecting tens of thousands of dollars from corporate donors. She compromised the crucial interests of the Port of Charleston when her appointed DHEC board issued a ruling allowing the environmentally destructive dredging of the Savannah river to open the river for transit of larger ships to the competing Port of Savannah. Her concern about state expenses wasn't evident when she spent a Quarter of a Million dollars on a trip to Paris this summer.
Haley cited public urination in the bushes, mattresses on the ground and toilet paper in the bushes as reasons for ending the peaceful, 33 day Occupation, however despite around the clock police supervision, noone was cited for any illegal activity during the entire occupation.
My Original post 4:15 pm today.
Governor Nikki Haley visit South Carolina this afternoon between out of state fundraising trips for a 4 pm press conference to announce she is planning to order the eviction of Occupy Columbia, which has been camping on the Statehouse Grounds without incident for nearly a month. New rules (apparently not reviewed by the legislature to go into effect at 6 pm today are expected to be announced. The content of these rules on how the people can use their own property are not yet know. Brett Bursey and other Columbia activists are on their way to the Statehouse now and will report as soon as they have updated information.
In the meantime, call your state legislator and demand that the grounds of the Statehouse remain available for free speech and peaceful assembly. You can obtain their phone numbers at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/
It seems clear that this eviction of what has been a productive and peaceful act of sustained public witness is part of a nationally coordinated, corporate sponsored attempt to crush this new eruption of free speech in the United State.
Occupy Columbia’s website is http://occupycolumbiasc.org/
Free speech, democracy and freedom aren't native here. Whatever happens, I valued my time with Occupy Columbia and I promise the Governor, I'll not forget them, their stand of her sorid neglect of the welfare of her own people.
You may as well call the Governor as well:(803) 734-2100.