URGE Condemns Police Violence Against Protesters In OhioThere can be no justice or peace under the ongoing threat of state-sanctioned violence
May 29, 2020
(Columbus, OH) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity in solidarity with community pain and outrage for the brutal assault and arrest of Christopher Radden, a 42-year-old Black man, by police in Columbus, Ohio, after peacefully protesting in solidarity with community members in Minneapolis protesting the killing of George Floyd.
“Every day in this country Black women, Black men, Black youth, Black children, and Black trans and nonbinary people experience violence at the hands of police. And last night in Columbus, Ohio, was no different.
“Hundreds of people — including our beloved Ohio State Coordinator Jordyn Close — gathered to peacefully protest the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. In turn, they were met with police violence of their own. Jordyn was pepper-sprayed by the police at point-blank range while others were hit with concussion grenades and wooden bullets fired from guns.
“The state-sanctioned violence against these young Black and Brown people comes just weeks after white supremacists, nazis, and a known abortion clinic bomber descended upon Ohio’s capital, storming government buildings while armed with semi-automatic weapons. Unlike last night’s protesters, they were not met with violence, but with passive cooperation from the police and support from extremist state politicians. We must acknowledge and name this disparity for what it is: deeply entrenched, systemic racism against Black people.
“Enough is enough. URGE calls on the Columbus City Council and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther to not only condemn the anti-Black violence committed by the Columbus Police Department against peaceful protesters last night, but also to take meaningful steps to demilitarize the entire police department.
“We extend our gratitude to all the organizers, street medics, legal observers, and community members who showed up on the front lines in the name of freedom from state-sanctioned violence and justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, Henry Green, and countless other Black lives lost at the hands of police.”
Take action! What can you do to help?
Tomorrow, May 30, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. people are being asked to show up in support for Christopher Radden at his arraignment at the Franklin County Municipal Court located at 375 S High St, Columbus, Ohio 43215. For more details, visit the Facebook event page.
To help support those who were arrested last night in Columbus, donate to the Columbus Freedom Fund to help folks make their bail in order to be released. Ohio’s statewide abortion fund, Women Have Options Ohio, has partnered with the Columbus Freedom Fund to create this Bonfire t-shirt campaign to also help raise funds.
Donations are also encouraged to Black Queer Intersection Collective (BQIC), a grassroots community organization working toward the liberation of Black LGBTQIA+ folks through direct action and community organizing.