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Dueling protests sound off in downtown Charleston, decrying authorities

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Two groups of protesters gathered in downtown Charleston on Saturday morning, criticizing city authorities for opposing reasons.

The original rally, organized by local activists gathered with megaphones and ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags on the steps of the old exchange building. They called for Mayor John Tecklenburg to resign due to damage caused by the May 30 demonstrations on King Street, and criticized the city council’s taxation plans.

Across Market Street, Black Lives Matter organized a counter-protest, with about two dozen protesters decrying the arrests and tear gas that police deployed during protests calling for arrests of the men who killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. They collected cans of food for donations.

The main rally was preceded by an online petition, signed by over 10,000 people, demanding that Tecklenburg resign.

Charleston police said that demonstration was permitted, but dozens of officers were deployed to watch both sides of the protest.

The main group marched to City Hall, where leaders prayed. It was organized by representatives of The Contemporary Conservative and The Overton Report.

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Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.

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