Demonstrators hold protest against plans to remove Calhoun statue pedestal

VIDEO: Rally in Marion Square

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The base is all that’s left of the former statue in Marion Square and on Sunday, around 40 people came to voice their opinions on what should happen with the removal process and its remains.

Demonstrators are calling this the Take Back Charleston rally which started around 4:30 Sunday afternoon.

Organizers are with South Carolina We The People and they say they are calling on the city of charleston to preserve what’s left of the monument. Demonstrators Also talked about their opposition to the initial removal of the statue.

“There’s artifacts in there from the continental army, from our history from the American revolution and we want that to be carefully preserved,” Erik Corcoran with South Carolina We the People said.

Early on to the protest, counter-protesters also showed up with the group United Front. Counter-protesters say they feel the police response today has not been equal to what they have received in previous attempts to protest here.

“We have been told time and time again that we can not organize events inside of the square. We have been told that we would be at risk of arrest if we did organize events inside of the square.” Jason Jones with United Front of Charleston said.

The Charleston Police Department has released this statement in relation to the protest:

"In response to several inquiries, CPD desires to clarify that there have not been, and will not be, any permits issued for public demonstration or protest-related activity in Marion Square, downtown charleston, for this weekend.

While CPD overwhelmingly supports our citizen’s right to freedom of speech and public demonstration, Marion Square is not presently available for this activity."

The majority of the protesters cleared out around 5:30 p.m. Police say one person was cited with a no parade permit.

While the city has not released a specific date or plans for the pedestal, A city spokesperson says the pedestal will be demolished in a way that preserves and protects the time capsule that is believed to be inside, with a professional on-site to make sure the capsule is handled properly.

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