The South Carolina Secessionist Party (a grass-roots political organization) had a reservation to hold an event scheduled through the State House in Columbia for December 20th to commemorate the 155th anniversary of secession, having invited a well renowned speaker Mr. H.K. Edgerton to preside and give a speech to those attending. This reservation was made with the General Services Administration of the State House. It was approved and we received written confirmation. We received phone calls from State House Police on Monday and Tuesday (12-7 and 12-8), stating that they were aware of multiple posts online by Black Extremist groups (BLM, FYF911, Ratchet Revolutionary, Nocturnus Liberatus, etc) threatening to come and counter protest. They also stated that they were concerned about serious threats of violence against those attending the event. The State House Police asked if we would consider canceling the event or moving to another venue. We refused, stating we would not be chased off my radicals.
Today, December 9th we received a phone call from an agency (I believe Public Safety), asking if we had decided to cancel our event. When we said no, we were told that our reservation was being revoked. When we asked why, we were told that these threats of violence constituted a public safety concern and that they had the right to revoke our reservation. We expressed our concern, noting that the KKK and Black Panthers were permitted to use the grounds and were protected by barriers and armed police (keep in mind, these groups were from out of state). We find it abhorrent that our State Government would sacrifice our First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble safely on our State House grounds to appease these radicals. Rather than purse those making violent threats against the citizens of our State, the Government has decided to refuse protection and sanctuary on the grounds of the State House funded by those same citizens. This sets, in our mind, a dangerous precedent for corruption and blackmail of our Government at the hands of radical extremists, who will feel emboldened to threaten violence to secure their agenda in the future.
South Carolina Secessionist Party