Thousands of people gathered at the State House today to protest proposed state cuts in education, health care and other state services as they asked state lawmakers to adopt “a moral budget.”
For about two hours, speakers from various progressive groups railed against budget cuts they say would disproportionately hurt the poor. The crowd held signs saying “State of Shame” and “Stop robbing the middle class to pay the rich.”
In the back of the crowd, just in front of the Confederate War Memorial, a handful of Tea Party members held signs with slogans such as “Let’s balance the budget” and “Lower my taxes.” They got into a few arguments with people, but none of the event’s 21 security officials, who wore fluorescent vests with the words “peacekeeper” on the back, had to get involved.
People attended from towns across the state, including Inman, Lugoff and Six Mile. State Rep. Joe Neal, D-Richland, one of the last speakers and who was introduced as “not a politician,” urged people to return to the State House on Monday when lawmakers begin deliberating the state budget.
The groups plan a “Mob the Lobby” event at 11:30 a.m.