Guy with cap and guitar covered with stickers with his fist in the air in front of a crowd of people

Free Press Hero: Brian “Clash” Griffin

Unperturbed by driving rain, subzero temperatures and scathing heat -- he plays on. Unintimidated by police presence be they in person, on horses or bikes, or aggressive counter-protesters - he plays on. Unrelenting in his intensity as he participates at every rally -- Brian “Clash” Griffin plays on. He was there when we demonstrated outside Governor Bob Taft’s church, trying to stop the execution of an innocent man, Johnny Byrd -- playing until his fingers were frostbitten. When they started the Iraq War and we were attacked by pro-war fanatics during weekly peace vigils at 15th and High -- he played on. In solidarity with Occupy Columbus at the Statehouse -- he played on. He marches with his guitar in the Pride Parade, Black Lives Matter marches, the recent (and very wet) People’s Climate March, and the list goes on. Brian Griffin infuses enthusiasm at every gathering as he often makes up a cause-oriented song on the spot. The Free Press is in awe of Brian’s persistent and consistent musical presence and are inspired by the soundtrack he provides to our lives. “We are gonna rise up!”

The Free Press Salutes: Central Ohio Workers Center May Day commemoration

Every May 1st, the Central Ohio Worker Center (COWC) makes sure Columbus doesn’t forget the importance of May Day, the worker’s holiday. This year’s day of events was no exception -- a multicultural day of events with education on the history of May Day and Immigrant Struggles in Columbus, marches, a cookout and community gatherings with discussions on restaurant workers, the Women's March, the refugee community, the Muslim community and more. The Free Press salutes the COWC in all their activities to spread multicultural understanding and support workers.

Enemy of the People: CMHA’s “predatory gentrification”

It’s hard to imagine a more consistently evil public entity than the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA). As long-time Bollinger Tower resident Jesse James put it: “They practice predatory gentrification.” Whether it’s Poindexter Village or Bollinger Tower, CMHA exists to make huge profits for developers at the expense of our most vulnerable elderly and poor citizens. The Free Press condemns their practice of forcing out or evicting low income Bollinger residents in favor of hipper, wealthier tenants. We agree with James’ analysis: “Bollinger -- it’s like genocide.”

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