Ever wondered what it would look like of a rabble of white supremacists confronted black activists in a Southern US state still reeling from the racially motivated murder of nine African-Americans? A bit like Saturday when the Black Educators for Justice faced off against the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in opposing rallies outside the South Carolina Statehouse -- the scene of the recent felling of the Confederate flag, the subject of the KKK's protest.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety estimated the crowd at approximately 2,000. Spokeswoman Sherri Iacobelli said five people were arrested and 23 people needed medical attention. No specifics were given on the type of treatment. Several people carried the Confederate flag along the margin of the crowd at the black educators rally. About 40 members of the KKK marched up the Capitol steps and waved flags. Many in the crowd jeered.
Two men who were involved in a scuffle were led away by police. During the rallies, Leroy Smith, director of the Department of Public Safety and who is black, was seen helping a white man wearing a T-shirt bearing a swastika get out of the heat. Governor Nikki Haley earlier in the week urged residents to avoid the KKK rally, adding that doing so would honour the nine people shot and killed at a predominantly black church in Charleston last month.
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