CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – For those protesting non-violently in the Lowcountry, bail funds were created to give them piece of mind.
Katie Thompson, an advocate who created the Charleston SC Protestor Fund on GoFundMe, said it was created when she saw many young adults protesting and being arrested this past weekend.
The reason I started this fund is because I went to the College of Charleston, and I looked back at the protest and saw all of those young faces marching up King Street and I thought, ‘ten years ago that would’ve been me and somebody needs to look out for these kids and ensure they can protest safely.’Katie Thompson, Advocate
While the fund was created specifically for bail, Thompson said they very quickly expanded after getting together with Black Lives Matter Charleston. The two then decided to provide legal aid and additional safety precautions for those still out spreading their messages.
They wanted to have masks, they wanted to have water, they wanted to have supplies, so that everyone could protest safely. We are in the middle of a pandemic and they feel responsible as organizers and want to provide that to have a safe demonstration.Katie Thompson, Advocate
With an original goal of $10,000, they now are closing in on $100,000. Thompson said the average cost of bail for Disobeying a Lawful Order is $465—but some protesters have additional charges added on. Thompson added that while it seems like a lot of money, it could go very quickly, so she is trying to be very smart about spreading out the funds.
Thompson added that while they have a lapse in receiving GoFundMe funds, many have stepped in to help out.
We’ve actually had some very generous private citizens help us to try to front to get protestors out of jail until we can get access to the GoFundMe funds. So it’s just grown into so much more than just a fund, there’s this whole network of people out here supporting these protestors, they are so smart. I encourage the city and the community to listen to what they have to say.Katie Thompson, Advocate
Thompson’s GoFundMe goal has already been exceeded, but she said that any excess will be going to another fund to help out for future protesters continuing to spread their messages in a peaceful manner.