Seven Occupy Columbia protesters arrested last week for refusing to leave the South Carolina Statehouse grounds have sued Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and state public safety officials, saying their First Amendment rights were trampled.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday notes that Occupy Columbia is composed of peaceful protesters. It alleges that Haley blames the protesters for damage to Statehouse grounds because she doesn't agree with their message.
Meanwhile, a circuit judge granted a request from protesters to resume their 24-7 occupation at the Statehouse until a Dec. 1 court hearing. The order also allows protesters to have tents on the grounds. The group planned to meet Wednesday to decide its next step.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey called the situation "unacceptable" and said of the suit, "We will fight it every step of the way."
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