About a dozen Occupy Charleston protesters entered a downtown Wells Fargo bank on Tuesday and stood quietly for a moment while holding a dollar bill between their lips as a symbolic gesture to protest foreclosures.
"It was a little risky. We were out of there before they knew what to do with us," said Courtney Faller.
Earlier, the group held a "funeral" for the First Amendment at Marion Square as an expression of Occupy Charleston's view that the city killed free speech last month when it arrested 11 of its members at the park.
Ten were jailed overnight for being in the square after an 11 p.m. curfew. One was arrested for camping.
"They did not constrain our will or our drive," said Faller, a Mount Pleasant resident who presided over the funeral.
The free speech funeral included a mock casket, which two members of Occupy Charleston hoisted on their shoulders as they led a march up King Street. They were met with curious stares and some words of encouragement.
"We're defending the Constitution," a marcher said.
"God bless you," a spectator responded.
Although mostly a young group, some baby boomers were at the funeral. They talked about how 1 percent of the population unfairly controls the wealth of the nation.
"This is so critical to my kids," said Jacque Metz, 62, of Hanahan, who worries about how they will repay student loans when jobs are scarce.
Metz said she marched on Washington, D.C., in the 1960s during the Vietnam War era.
"I just look around me and see all the economic inequality. I'm tired of the corruption," she said.
Ten Occupy protesters were arrested about 1 a.m. Nov. 23 and charged with trespassing. The city said police gave the protesters an opportunity to walk away from the situation before putting them in handcuffs. The camper was arrested Nov. 22 and charged with unauthorized activity in the park.
"I think we were all kind of shocked," said Brandon Fish, a protester taken to jail for trespassing.
Fish said about 40 police arrived at the park when the arrests happened.
After their brief demonstration in the bank lobby, the protesters marched with their casket to nearby City Hall where they attended a City Council meeting.
Fish spoke during the public forum section of the meeting. He lamented a "country in crisis," his rights of assembly in Marion Square being stepped on and what he called "legitimized bribery" of campaign contributions in Washington.
Another man, who did not identify himself, questioned the city's choice to do banking services with national giant Wells Fargo instead of a more locally rooted bank.