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On the West lawn of the South Carolina State House in Columbia, the capital city of the state, resides the ninety-nine. Their numbers may be closer to a fifth of that, however it was difficult to know for sure as it was before 10am when they hold their morning General Assembly. I found a few folks up and I was able to talk to one occupier, Tim.
There is a porta-potty on the east lawn, they use the facilities at a nearby homeless shelter to shower, supporters have been donating food, one woman brings a thermos of hot coffee every morning, and the mild weather, sixty degrees that morning, is quite comfortable. Tim informed me of their activities as well. They form protest lines in front of neighboring banks, they hold their general assembly meetings twice a day, it all seemed pretty calm that morning.
Despite the tranquil appearances, they have had some excitement recently. Nineteen protesters had been arrested last month which led some of them to sue the Governor Nikki Haley. They had won a victory just a few days earlier in this case, temporary restraining order against their state Governor Nikki Haley, and a federal ruling that allows them to reside for the time being on state grounds, sleeping bags and all.