Black Lives Matter protesters blocked streets near SC Statehouse overnight

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COLUMBIA (AP) – Several hundred Black Lives Matters people who started their day protesting the reappearance of the Confederate flag outside the South Carolina Statehouse were keeping up their protests into the night Sunday.

The crowd was blocking a major intersection in downtown Columbia a block from the Statehouse complex.

Police were out in force and a helicopter was monitoring the situation from overhead.

Earlier Sunday the South Carolina Secessionist Party temporarily raised a Confederate battle flag at the same site where it was taken down by a vote of the legislature a year ago.

Governor Nikki Haley issued the following statement:

Last year South Carolina showed the power of listening, respect and kindness. Whether passing the nation’s first body camera law, removing a divisive symbol of the past from the Statehouse, or helping neighbors through the floods, our people rose to the occasion. While I appreciate the peaceful intent of this weekend’s rallies, I’d ask that we not put our fellow citizens or law enforcement at risk – which is exactly what attempting to block highways does. Instead, let us remember the feelings of respect, cooperation, and brotherhood that brought our state through the last year, and made South Carolina an example, for all the world, of how to move forward in the wake of tragedy.”

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