CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Dozens of Charlestonians gathered to clean up vandalism and damage left behind after violent protests broke out in downtown Charleston on Saturday.
What started as a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Marion Square and along King Street later turned violent Saturday night.
The windows of businesses were shattered, doors were broken, stores were looted, and debris littered the streets. Sounds of burglar and fire alarms filled the streets as the sun rose Sunday morning.
Volunteers gathered after the countywide curfew was lifted, bringing their own tools and trash bags to help clean up the city.
“It was a horrible night last night,” said Roy Neal, who owns El Jefe on King Street. “It was a war zone … last night was the worst night I’ve ever experienced, but this morning is the best morning I’ve ever experienced. The spirit of Charleston is alive. People are helping everybody door by door by door.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said their efforts simply show love for Charleston.
“Charleston bounces back. You see the activity here, volunteers, city staff, property owners – we’re all cleaning up and picking up the pieces.”