Protesters hold ‘Stop the Hate’ rally in Charleston

.(Live 5)
Updated: Feb. 7, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Protesters from several organizations came together for a “Stop the Hate” rally at White Point Garden in downtown Charleston.

Organizers say they were there to send a message to local and state leaders to support a hate crime law and resolutions that denounce hate.

An activist group, the United Front of Charleston, says they’d like to see specific groups named and denounced in the resolution.

“We stand against hatred, we stand against bigotry,” United Front of Charleston Founder Jason Jones said. “We stand against racism as a whole. If you look at our crowds and our groups out here it’s a mixed crowd.”

The City of Charleston recently passed a resolution that condemns groups that divide the community and incite racism.

The original draft version of the resolution passed during a Jan. 12 council meeting and included the mentions of specific groups. Immediately following, the council member who proposed the ordinance offered an amended version to make sure that all forms of hate were being condemned, the city says.

City officials say the first draft specifically referenced and condemned white nationalism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. However, these references were taken out and the amended resolution was approved by city council.

They say it was an effort for the resolution encompass and denounce all groups that seek to divide the community or incite violence.

Protesters also say they gathered on Sunday to protest the Flags Across the South group who fly Confederate Flags at the battery every weekend. Confederate Flag supporters say they disagree with those who say the flag is a symbol of hate.

The activists say they will continue to hold protests to share their message.

“We want our state to hear that things such as the Heritage Act need to be abolished,” Jones said. “We need a hate crime law in South Carolina. We need all of these messages to get forward to our representatives in the city so that we can pass that news and this information along to the state.”

On a state level, South Carolina is one of three states without a hate crime bill. If passed, the bill would add penalties for bias-motived crimes.

Jones says they are also paying homage this weekend to the late Charleston area community activist Muhiyidin d’Baha.

d’Baha was involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and died after being shot in New Orleans in 2018.

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