Protesters' attempts to rally throughout Upstate South Carolina in favor of the Confederate flag resulted in them spending much of the day moving from one location to another.
Supporters of the flag found that they were unwelcome at Wal-Mart stores and other businesses and were ordered to move on by police.
The group of about 100 people first met at a Wal-Mart in Easley, South Carolina, but left after police told them they could not stay. Wal-Mart officials said they notified Easley police days beforehand about a possible upcoming rally. They told officers that they wanted to keep the parking lot open only to staff and shoppers.
Police blocked access to the Wal-Mart and prevented anyone carrying the Confederate flag from entering, reports Fox Carolina.
The supporters of the Confederate flag left the Easley Wal-Mart and police remained. They next went to the Powdersville Wal-Mart and talked about returning to the former.
One person told WYFF that they were returning to “make a point.”
Another said, “I’m protesting because Wal-Mart no longer sells Confederate flags.” Another man said he was protesting to keep the flag flying on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds.
In Powdersville, Bruce Wilson and Derrick Quarles, activists with Fighting Injustice Together, addressed the crowd of flag supporters and encouraged them to keep the protest peaceful. There was reportedly one other black man present, besides Wilson and Quarles, though he was waving a Confederate flag.
Quarles told WYFF he was asked if he was a Black Panther. The man said, “I heard that the Black Panthers were coming here, and I didn’t want to sit at home eating potato chips.” Quarles told the man that he was not a member of the Black Panthers, a group that has not existed since the early 1980s.
Quarles also noticed several people wearing clip-on knives on their belts at the rallies.
As more and more flag supporters surrounded Wilson and Quarles, police arrived and the crowd dispersed.
The flag supporters moved on to the Greenville-Pickens Speedway before announcing their plan to try the Wal-Mart in Pickens.
Later, they made their way to the parking lot of Academy Sports in Anderson. Police told the crowd to move on. Shortly after, protesters settled in the parking lots of Skateland USA and Boulevard Lanes before moving again along Clemson Boulevard.
An owner of the bowling alley said the protesters did not have permission to be on the property and that neither Skateland USA nor Boulevard Lanes had anything to do with the demonstrators.
Photo Credit: Screenshot via Fox Carolina