Occupy protesters leave tent for Gov. Haley

In late November, protest organizer Dillon Corbett (center), of Columbia, joined other protesters in defiance of Gov. Nikki Haley’s curfew on protesting at the Statehouse.

COLUMBIA — Occupy Columbia protesters have removed their tents and camping gear from the Statehouse, but not before leaving a tent as a holiday present for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who fought for more than a month to kick them off the capitol grounds.

About two dozen protesters marched Friday afternoon from the Statehouse to the Governor’s Mansion. They left a tent, decorated in red bows and green garland, outside the gates of the governor’s home and sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

A federal judge on Thursday approved new state rules prohibiting camping on Statehouse grounds. The protesters packed up their stuff Friday, ending two months of around-the-clock protests.

Occupy Columbia members say they will keep protesting at the Statehouse even without sleeping bags and tents.

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