For the second time today, demonstrators made it to Ohio State’s campus — but they didn’t stay long.
Tuesday saw two groups of protesters march from the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus, Ohio, to Ohio State’s campus and stage short-lived sit-ins on the Oval. It’s now the sixth day of protests in the capital city following the deaths of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in Minneapolis police custody May 25; Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by Louisville police in March; and other black Americans who died as a result of police action.
More than 500 demonstrators moved north on High Street from the Statehouse after police began to kneel with protesters, arriving on campus around 7 p.m. This evening’s group was the largest demonstration Ohio State has seen since Thursday when protests started in Columbus.
One protester addressed the crowd over a megaphone on the Oval.
“They’ve got racism and they’ve got classism,” the protester said. “Because we’re not in that higher class, they don’t treat us the same. Women, they haven’t always treated y’all the same. Y’all have to have rights. Y’all have to have rights just like black people have to have rights.”
Four hours earlier, the first group to campus gathered around the statue of former University President William Oxley Thompson that sits at the entrance of Thompson Library. As the group settled on the Oval, it chanted “Cut ties with the CPD.” Some stood on the steps of Thompson’s statue holding signs that read “Time to make a change,” and “No more killer cops.”
On Monday, student governments at the university sent a letter to the administrators demanding Ohio State cut ties with Columbus Police after the weekend saw police using aggressive tactics on protesters and students.
Both groups stayed on campus for less than an hour, moving back down North High Street towards the Statehouse.