Across the street from the South Carolina Employment Security Commission building in Charleston, is about 30 (as of Thursday morning) “Occupy Charleston” protesters standing up for the unemployed–and the rest of the “99 percent” of Americans who they say aren’t part of Wall Street big business. The movement, that began at Brittlebank Park on Wednesday will run through Sunday–for 99 hours.
Although not many slept overnight the first night of the movement, some began Thursday morning setting up blankets, pillows and signs that read “People and Planet over Profit–Occupy Charleston.”
One of them, Protester Shauna, says it’s not just the 99 percent she’s standing up for.
“I’m here to connect with people and express the true definition of non-violence, which is that peace within. It’s not just refraining from picking up the stick. It is actually dealing with anger and actually moving through that so that we can be rational and clear and work together because we are 100 percent. We are all Americans. We’re all humans on this planet, we’re all in this together, and this us and them thing–isn’t working,” says Shauna.
Protester Mary says she camped out overnight and she’s there for more of a political message.
“It doesn’t matter if they are Democrat or Republican, all of our politicians are in the pockets of big corporations, and until we get an amendment to the Constitution stripping corporations of personhood and getting us campaign finance reforms so that our candidates are publically funded and they have an even playing field–only then will we have our government back,” says Mary.
“Occupy Charleston” lasts until 3 p.m. Sunday. similar events were held in Columbia, Spartanburg, and Florence.