Confederate flag protestors not allowed at local Wal-Marts

Drew Stevens/photo

Protestor perpares for a recent Confederate flag protest.

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — A planned protest at the Easley Wal-Mart was halted before it could get started Sunday morning. Easley and other law enforcement officers ended the protest, that had centered around issues with the Confederate battle flag, peacefully.

Anyone entering the parking lot with a Confederate battle flag or other controversial emblems was stopped as they drove into the parking lot and told they were welcome to go inside the store but had to put the flags away.

“We just told there wasn’t going to be a Confederate rally today,” said Easley Police Chief Tim Tollison. “With what we had seen on social media we knew the potential was there for real trouble.”

Tollison said the flag-bearing vehicles peacefully moved on.

“This was just a case in which Wal-Mart and the property owners saw the potential violence and we were there to prevent any such incident,” Tollison said.

“Our position was neither pro nor anti confederate flag. We were just preserving the peace,” he added.

The protest moved on to the Powdersville and Pickens Wal-Mart’s but was dispersed there as well. Nearly 100 people were included in the parade of vehicles that stopped at the Greenville -Pickens Speedway and Academy sports and Skate Around USA.