SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Six protesters at an abortion demonstration in downtown Greenville were arrested Saturday after police say pro-life and pro-choice supporters began to confront each other on opposite sides of the street.
About 500 people attended the event. Police say they tried to separate the groups on opposite sides of the street, but despite multiple warnings, some protesters refused to obey, according to Sergeant Jonathan Bragg of the Greenville Police Department.
The city’s picketing ordinance requires protesters to stay “on the sidewalks, on the grounds of a city-controlled park or plaza, or in other city-owned areas or rights-of-way normally used or reserved for pedestrian movement, and may not be conducted on the portion of a street used primarily for vehicular
The ordinance also requires people to stay out of areas occupied by other groups by not “interfering with, hampering, hindering, or getting in the way of those participating in the permitted event.”
After several protesters began to occupy the roadway to confront each other, police say the decision was made to arrest someone who continued to disobey officers after several warnings. Other protesters, reacting to the arrest, began to interfere with police at that point, Bragg said.
Six people were arrested, and the charges range from pedestrians in the roadway, interfering with police, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, according to Bragg.
The demonstration was then deemed an unlawful assembly, and police officers dispersed both sides of the protest, Bragg said.