Photos: Take-Aways from last night's march in Columbia
I started my Sunday morning covering a Confederate flag rally on the statehouse grounds for The Post & Courier. I went to Repticon at the Jamil Temple and then came back to the statehouse to check out an event in which the only information I had was that it was a #UnitedWeStand march. I was not on assignment so I was just kind of winging it and didn’t pay attention to the use of the word “march” in the event information. By 9:30 I was sitting across from a young woman named Anaya Bastian (holding a confusing sign) in the middle of the road where I-126 becomes Huger St. Behind me, there was also a wall of police officers who formed the initial line holding back protestors from entering the interstate.
Here are my take-aways: Law enforcement did a great job helping to keep things peaceful by staying calm, being thick-skinned and bending when needed but not breaking. It appears as though they allowed the group to march wherever they desired as long as they kept off the interstate -- that's the only time I saw police draw a line. The marchers seemed OK with that (in terms of testing that in a physical sense) and turned around and headed back to the statehouse. The march itself seemed like a big game of cat and mouse at times, protestors not wanting the police to dictate their route -- moving at a rapid pace and making abrupt turns in effort to throw them off. Law enforcement's goal seemed to be simply to occupy intersections to stop traffic and avoid accidents between the marchers and vehicles. I saw no violence from protestors or excessive use of force from the police.
I ran into the photo editor from The State Newspaper at the end of the night back at the statehouse and we brokered a deal for the images. You can see the rest of the photos by clicking the above photo or here: PHOTOS: Black Lives Matter protest
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