On their 33rd day of camping out on state capitol grounds, 23 members were handcuffed by officers with the Bureau of Protective Services and brought to the building’s basement.
The arrests began at about 6:30 p.m., and because the group did not honor a request, issued earlier today from Gov. Nikki Haley, that they no longer remain on the grounds in nighttime hours.
Haley’s request of Occupy Columbia was issued at a 4 p.m. press conference, giving the organization two hours to comply.
State Sen. Harvey Peeler Jr. (R-Gaffney) submitted a formal request to Haley earlier today, in which did the Republican legislator from Gaffney suggest the protestors were violating the state’s Code of Laws (Section 10-1-30), pertaining to “public health, safety and welfare” in use of public facilities.
In a letter submitted this afternoon to BPS and the state Dept. of Public Safety, Haley complained of damage to state property and of costs of additional security the state’s incurred since Occupy Columbia first began its presence at the State House.
Haley wrote an additional evening-shift security officer has been needed at the state property since the occupation began, costing the state $17,600, she claimed.
No formal charges have been filed against the arrestees at this time. Those taken into custody were cooperative and compliant, officers said.
Occupy Columbia still operates an online livestream video of its activities.