Confederate flag debate continues, protests expected in the Upst - FOX Carolina 21

Confederate flag debate continues, protests expected in the Upstate

Posted: Updated: Jul 02, 2015 04:51 PM
Confederate flag (File) Confederate flag (File)

The Confederate flag that flys on capitol grounds remains a topic of discussion. Whether you want the flag to stay or you want it gone, both sides feel strongly about their opinions. a protest is expected to be held in Easley this weekend, like the one held in Pickens on Sunday.  A counter protest is also in the works. the police chief said they are aware and are preparing for what may happen.

"When you have very radical or sometimes militant groups who are out protesting, it makes everybody else look a little more moderate and a little more reasonable and so it actually encourages conversations," said Sean O'Rourke.

Sean O'Rourke is a professor of Communication Studies and teaches a course at Furman University about protests and how they functioned  through history from 1948 to 1973. He said there are some similarities to current events."One of the backbones of the course is the civil rights movement and the response to it which seems to be playing out once again in the post Charleston shootings period," said O'Rourke.

O'Rourke said right now, the flag is the key symbol but said there are other issues that have come up in South Carolina. he mentioned the controversy around Tillman Hall at Clemson University, named after a founder and former governor who was also a white supremacist.

"There's been a fair amount for several years now of concern about having those symbols as well," said O'Rourke.

The Ku Klux Clan has announced they want to rally at the Statehouse, The Sons of Confederate Veterans announced they condemn the rally saying quote, "Our duty is to protect and preserve the history and heritage of the Confederate soldier both black and white, our ancestors battle flag makes no dissimilarity to race, creed or religious affiliation."

Derrick Quarles said he will be in Easley this weekend to be part of a peaceful demonstration.

"We'll definitely praying and trying to reaffirm and reestablish hope in the I believe that when it comes down, South Carolina is going to see a totally different side then we've seen before," said Quarles. 
O'Rourke said if the flag does come down there may still be discussions and protests,"I think as long as those symbols are out there I think there will continue to be agitation."

The chief of police in Easley said they are aware of the protest and counter protest and have tried to reach out to both sides, and he says they will have increased patrol in the area of the WalMart during the time of the protest. WalMart has reached out to the police department and has made it clear that they do not want the protests to take place at their establishment, which is also private property.

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