Governor Nikki Haley today sought assistance from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services (BPS) in removing any individuals associated with "Occupy Columbia," as well as his or her belongings, who remain on the Statehouse grounds after 6:00 PM without written authorization from the Budget and Control Board.
While the governor welcomes the expression of all points of view at the Statehouse, South Carolina's laws and policies require such expression to be reasonably limited to normal business hours and without destruction of or damage to Statehouse grounds.
Gov. Haley said, "This is America. Anyone is free to protest about anything they want. I encourage people to find and use the power of their voices just as much when I do not agree with those voices as when I do agree with them. If these folks want to make their voices heard in an appropriate way, they can have at it. But it has to be done within the bounds of the law. They are not going to be allowed to disrespect the taxpayers or their property. No overnight stays on the taxpayer dime. No public urination. No destruction of property. This is not Oakland, California. This is not New York City. Protests are fine. But in South Carolina we believe in the rule of law, and the people of this state should never doubt that as governor, I will enforce it."