Protesters face off against Confederate flag supporters across busy Summerville street
SUMMERVILLE - Thousands of motorists passing through this historic town were forced Thursday to drive through a gantlet of protesters.
On one side of West Richardson Avenue, in the shadows of Town Hall, was a small contingent from the S.C. Secessionist Party, waving large Confederate battle flags on poles 20 feet long and handing out smaller versions to passers-by.
Secessionist Party Chairman James Bessenger said his group did not plan to "flag" Summerville on Thursday, but changed their minds after Community Resource Center founder Louis Smith called them out on social media Wednesday.
On the other side of the street, a larger crowd with signs protesting the Confederate flags handed out American flags while songs like "We Are the World" blared from a speaker set up in Hutchinson Square.