South Carolina’s Holy City is bracing for protests as Steve Bannon’s visit nears.
Indivisible Charleston has announced that it will hold a protest at or near campus the night that the former White House chief strategist visits Charleston, according to a post through social media. Bannon was invited as the special guest of the annual Patriot Dinner held by the The Citadel Republican Society at the Holliday Alumni Center.
This year’s dinner is scheduled for Monady at 6 p.m. Indivisible Charleston is expected to hold a protest on the same day from 5 to 8 p.m.
“Join us ... as we let Steve Bannon know that he’s not welcome here,” said Thomas Dixon, a pastor and grassroots activist who previously ran as a Democrat against U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
A flier he posted about the event states, “The Citadel Administration must know that the good people of the Lowcountry will not be silent while this woman-hating, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, xenophobic misogynist racist is invited into our community.”
The dinner Bannon has been invited to raises money to support Citadel Republic Society cadets on their annual trip to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. The club is the Citadel’s largest, with more than 300 participating cadets.
The Citadel’s president, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, issued a statement on Wednesday in which he said he was confident in “the ability of our cadets, students, faculty, staff and community to decide for themselves if ideas presented by speakers have any merit.”
“The Citadel has been, and will continue to be, a venue where ideas from many points of view are shared,” Rosa said. “One of the foundational principles that we teach our cadets and students is that while we will not agree on every issue, we will respect the opinions of others, even when we strongly disagree.”
S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, expressed frustration with Bannon’s invitation and The Citadel’s decision to not block Bannon’s visit, according to Live 5 News.
“This man, here, is a white supremacist,” Gilliard told the station. “He’s hateful. He’s bringing hate here in the state of South Carolina.”
Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan