11 Protesters Arrested at State House

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By Crandall Sims

WOLO (COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Tuesday morning, the decision to try and block entry to the State House garage landed eleven people in handcuffs.

"Yes, I will get arrested," says Tom Summers, a United Methodist Minister

Our cameras were rolling as the Columbia Police Department made arrest after arrest.

The protesters are in favor of expanding Medicaid in the state through Obamacare.

"In 2014, there will probably be 130,000 deaths as a result of the lack of enough support for people to get proper health care," says Summers.

Lawmakers have rejected a Medicaid expansion.

"It's very immoral and vindictive," says Summers

Even after the arrests some of the Truthful Tuesday protesters, who were not arrested, went to Senate Chambers to, in their words, try and shame lawmakers.

The State House lobby is where we found Diane Hardy.

"It's obviously not working and it's not going to be viable economically and it's cutting into our freedoms," says Hardy of Anderson.

She's part of a group of about 20 people, from across the state, who traveled to the State House Tuesday to speak out against the law.

"It's just wrong. To have the government tell you, or the state, tell you who you have to provide for, that should be my choice," says Paula Kinziger, also opposes Obamacare.

Kinziger also mentioned a move by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

"They sent letters to all of our state Senators asking to support Obamacare," says Kinziger

The chamber gave us this statement.

“In 2012, the South Carolina Chamber opposed the ACA and joined 14 other state chambers and business organizations in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was defeated. Now that the PPACA is law, it is important that states move forward and focus on reducing costs. The ACA has been contested, ruled on and found constitutional. Overall, the state nullification legislation’s broad language provides an unstable regulatory environment, which would be burdensome to South Carolina companies and future economic development. Stability is a key component for businesses in the regulatory environment. South Carolina must now move forward and work to provide health care for citizens and reduce costs. Gridlock will only further exacerbate uncertainties businesses face. “

According to the Columbia Police Department, the eleven protesters were field booked for violating code 56-5-3160 and were repeatedly told to move off of the roadway and not block/ stop traffic on roadway.

A CPD spokesperson says officers didn't want drivers or protesters harmed.

According to the State House website, the code the protesters violated is listed as the following:

SECTION 56-5-3160. Pedestrians on highways.

(a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.

(b) Where a sidewalk is not available any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.

(c) Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

HISTORY: 1962 Code Section 46-436; 1952 Code Section 46-436; 1949 (46) 466; 1965 (54) 692; 1971 (57) 296; 1977 Act No. 145 Section 4.


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Justin Alexander said on Wednesday, Mar 5 at 1:30 PM

Just to make it clear, the people arrested were protesting FOR Obamacare. No one protesting AGAINST it were arrested (or doing anything illegal.)

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