Speakers at the Sanctuary City demonstration Monday, March 13 outside Columbus City Hall demaded sanctuary for all: "Immigrants, refugees, Muslims, Mexicans, Asians, Black people and Trans people." Although it was bitterly cold, several dozen people held signs and rallied hoping to get their message to the Mayor and City Council meeting inside.
Speakers included organizer Pranav Jani of the International Socialist Organization, Ruben Herrera of the Central Ohio Workers Center, Zarqa Abid of ProjectUSA, Tynan Krakoff of Showing Up for Racial Justice, Tammy Fournier Alsaada of the People's Justice Project and others. All of them agreed that Mayor Ginther had given lip service to making Columbus a sanctuary and opportunity city -- but the continuation of Columbus police shooting black people, pepper spraying and arresting protestors and the expansion of the Summer Safety Initiative prove he is not serious about creating safety for all residents of the city. The crowd chanted "Liberation! No incarceration!" "Black Lives Matter!" and "No Ban, No Wall!"
One young speaker reminded the demonstrators that there were a lot of people whose names never get in the news who are oppressed and harmed by government and police practices. She drew cheers from the participants, saying that even if they aren't celebrities or local leaders they face they showed up and made their voices heard is what's important.
At the same time inside Council Chambers, members of the Columbus Community Bill of Rights movement gathered to encourage city leaders to pass a bill of rights that would give Columbus residents the right to sue if their environment is polluted by any company or corporation.
"The Bill of Rights recognizes the sanctuary of life and the inherent right of all people to clean air and clean water. The Sanctuary movement recognizes people's rights to safety liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said participant Bob Fitrakis, Free Press Editor, "Both movements are fundamentally in line with our country's Declaration of Indepence and the words etched on the Statue of Liberty."