Crowd of protestors outside a big government building with a tripod looking wooden structure in the street

The Free Press Salutes – Anti-ICE protestors and Columbus Sanctuary Collective

The Free Press salutes Anti-ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) activists who shut down city streets around ICE headquarters in downtown Columbus, attempted to occupy the ICE office and erected a two-story wooden tripod structure in front of the building with a sign reading "ICE RUINS LIVES HERE" on Monday, July 9. Demonstrators held signs reading "Abolish ICE" and chanted "No Borders, No Wall!"

Police descended on the demonstrators, bringing in a hook and ladder firetruck to remove two activists one attached to the top and one to the bottom of the handmade structure. Columbus Police arrested a dozen activists, charging them with trespassing and/or obstructing police business. Ten of them spent the night in the Franklin County Jail and pleaded guilty the following morning. Their attorneys Bob Fitrakis (this paper's editor) and Connie Gadell-Newton categorized the protestors' actions as "nonviolent civil disobedience in the finest tradition of American dissent." Judge Barrows indicated he agreed with them.

The arrested activists were let go after they pleaded guilty primarily to 4th-degree trespassing charges and released for time served in jail. Their fines were also suspended pending the payment of court costs.

The Free Press also salutes the local Columbus Sanctuary Collective for their ongoing demonstrations and actions to put pressure on government officials to abolish ICE and to support Columbus residents currently in sanctuary. Activist Ruben Castilla Herrera said: "ICE was created and it can be demolished, it can be abolished and we're going to make it happen."

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