Protesters demonstrate well into Tuesday night

Day four of protests downtown Columbia continue

Columbia,SC (WOLO)— “No Justice, No peace!”

As the sun set on the fourth day of protesting, frustration over incidents of police brutality against people of color across the country was not setting. 

One of the protesters describing what he saw as he joined crowds to protests, and march in hope of  change. His response, “Pain,  all of these people are in pain and we want answers .”

Just before 7pm the group that lifted their signs, fists and voices decided it was time to move. Several dozen walking down Main Street in downtown Columbia to Elmwood Avenue, stopping at every crosswalk, obeying all laws, a conscious effort to change the narrative and according to them, “not give law enforcement” any reason to break up protests that lingered along the street until around 9pm.

Michael Bennett is a proud father of two who says he was actually on his way to the bank when he saw the crowds of protesters on the side walk just outside of the state house. Bennett says he thought of his young boys and how he doesn’t want to have to tell them to stay on alert as you see law enforcement, because they assume you are a threat.  

Instead, he parked his car and joined the crowd saying he didn’t want to be silent, “you can be silent and be part of the problem or part of the solution….2014 we couldn’t breathe, now it’s 2020 and we still can’t breathe, this has to stop.”

And then things grew silent. People of all backgrounds, kneeling on the sidewalk in unison outside the state house  hoping their silence will speak louder than words. 

Joseph Crane spent hours among the crowd. Not only marching, but also taking time to speak to those around him about his own personal experiences and why he needed to be part of this movement.

He says he’s frustrated that he’s constantly worried that police might mistake a camera or cell phone for a gun, or that he even has to think about the risk associated with something as mundane as reaching for his driver’s license, when police ask him for it. 

With no curfew in place for the first time since protesting began, marching continued well into the night Tuesday. 

While Crane and countless others peacefully demonstrating say marching gives them a glimmer of hope, but say it’s only the beginning of a fight they plan to continue until they see change.



Categories: Local News, Richland, State