Social Justice group holds rally at State House on anniversary of Confederate flag removal
A social justice group led a rally at the State House Wednesday, which marks four years since the Confederate flag was taken down.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – A social justice group led a rally at the State House Wednesday, which marks four years since the Confederate flag was taken down.
In years past, the South Carolina Secessionist Party would use the day to protest and raise the flag. But this year, the group called ‘Showing Up for Racial Justice – Columbia’ (SURJ) requested the permit to prevent the Party from protesting on the anniversary.
“In the past couple of years, Confederate supporters have gotten the license to the State House grounds, to raise the Confederate flags again. But this year we got the license, and so, we’re just trying to build community here,” said one of the organizers with SURJ, Kara Anderson.
On July 10, 2015, the Confederate flag was permanently removed. It followed the fatal Mother Emanuel AME shooting in Charleston where nine people lost their lives.
“We’re celebrating the fact that this white supremacist symbol no longer flies at the State House grounds, we’re honoring the Emanuel Nine, who are the ultimate reason the flag actually came down,” said Anderson.
Anyone was welcome to attend the rally, some people even drove down from Charlotte.
“I wanted to be here to celebrate the anniversary, because the flag represents a lot of hate, the Confederate flag. And a lot of folks become hateful because of the flag. To bring it down was the right thing to do.” said Rev. Raymond Johnson with Mount Pisgah Baptist Church.
Johnson said he invited other ministers to the celebration, but they were apprehensive.
“But me, I don’t mind coming. If I’m getting backlash for coming here and standing up for justice, then let it be,” he said. “Just treat everybody right. Be kind to everyone, love everyone.”
A group called “Flags Across the South” says it has a permit for a rally at the State House this Saturday, July 13. The group plans to raise the Confederate flag on a temporary flag pole.
SURJ members plan to attend and counter-protest.