For the second time this week, protesters have come to campus.
Hundreds of demonstrators moved north along High Street, reaching Ohio State’s campus around 3 p.m. Tuesday and gathered near Thompson Library.
Tuesday marks the sixth day of protests in Columbus, Ohio, with most demonstrations taking place at the Ohio Statehouse. Protests started Thursday in response to 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.
“I believe in basic human rights,” Alex Bise, a second-year in political science who was out protesting, said. “I can’t believe it’s 2020 and we’re still advocating for just the basic right to be alive in this country.”
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.”
Jayson Velazquez, a fourth-year in environment, economy, development, and sustainability, stood on the steps of the statue with a bullhorn and read from the open letter written by three student body groups Monday demanding Ohio State cease operations with Columbus Police on campus and review contracts between University Police and Columbus Police for off-campus activities.
Velazquez also condemned Columbus Police for pepper-spraying Lantern student journalists.
“If you did not see the Lantern journalists, who are student journalists here at Ohio State campus, were asked to leave, were harassed by Columbus PD,” Velazquez said. “They showed their credentials and they were not allowed to stay. They were sprayed.”
After he concluded his statement, he asked the crowd, “So again, can we get ‘Cut ties with the CPD?””
The crowd responded, “Cut ties with the CPD.”
At around 4 p.m., the group headed off the Oval and started marching south down North High Street toward the Statehouse.
On Saturday, about 50 demonstrators marched onto campus and sat on the Oval as a University Police officer watched from his vehicle.
The group did not address any university official or administrator but rested and treated pepper spray burns before heading back downtown to join up with a group of protesters that was marching north from the Statehouse.