Last night, Socialist Alternative Columbus, OH organized a massive rally in downtown Columbus, drawing out a crowd of thousands. The energy of the crowd was unlike Columbus has ever seen. People roared for speakers who admonished the two-party system for inadequately addressing the needs of the people, calling for a political alternative, and roared in solidarity with refugees, Muslims and immigrants throughout the night. People took leadership in carrying chants and taking the streets. It's clear that Columbus is the furthest thing from shy in joining the wave of resistance against Trump.
As fantastic as the rally was, protesters were met with the repressive forces of the state. At an entirely peaceful rally, the Columbus Police Department (CPD) deployed pepper spray and riot techniques on a nonviolent, peaceful crowd occupying a downtown intersection. Here it should be noted that it was mainly Black youth being targeted, and as observed in the cases of Ty're King and Henry Green, CPD is known to use excessive force on Black youth.
An occupation of an intersection is not a violent act. There was little to no traffic, and drivers honked their horns in solidarity! ISO - Columbus unequivocally condemns CPD's use of tear gas and riot gear on last night's protesters. Our condolences go to all those who were afflicted, and we hope that everyone received swift medical attention.
Nevertheless, last night serves as a reminder of what we do when we're united, together. The struggle continues, and we're in this for the long haul with you. Solidarity!