Rallies, Mass Meetings, Community Workshops Planned Until Verdict Announced
Dayton, OH—On Monday, September 23, at 10:00 AM ET, the Ohio Student Association (OSA), The Freedom Side cohort and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) will be joined by hundreds of allies and supporters from around the country to lead a 3-day rally and 11-mile pilgrimage from a Wal-Mart in Beavercreek, Ohio, where police shot and killed 22-year-old John Crawford III on August 5, to the Green County, Xenia Courthouse in Xenia, Ohio, to demand justice.
This tragedy comes amidst the national outcries against police brutality blamed for the deaths of Mike Brown in Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. Surveillance video shows that Crawford, who was talking on his cell phone and had his back turned away from officers, was holding a toy airsoft rifle that he picked up from store shelves when he was gunned down.
The actions, specifically aimed at pressuring Green County to indict the officers involved and garnering national attention for a federal investigation amidst a recent string of police violence against young people of color across the nation, will include rallies, mass meetings and workshops throughout Ohio and led by OSA, until the verdict is announced.
“This pilgrimage is symbolic of us carrying the spirit of John Crawford to the grand jury. It is also us acknowledging the struggle of our elders and our willingness to answer the call for our generation,” said OSA leader, Amaha Sellassie. “We are demanding justice and putting pressure to bring in Federal attention to the case. We have joined the family in demanding that the case be taken over by the Department of Justice.”
Event coordinators event also hope to unite more youth activists nationwide. The pilgrimage will end at the Green County, courthouse in Xenia, Ohio, where a special prosecutor is scheduled to present the case to a grand jury who will determine if criminal indictments will be returned as a result of the incident.
After hundreds civil rights leaders and community organizers demanded the release of the Wal-Mart surveillance tapes of the incident to the Crawford family viewed the released John Crawford’s father said: “I saw my son get murdered by law enforcement.”
For more information on events, see www.OhioStudentAssociation.org/JohnCrawford.
Ohio Student Association is a statewide youth-led organization building power for social, economic and educational justice. is a group of young people in Ohio, working together in an intergenerational movement for racial, social, economic and educational justice, including college students, high school students, graduates and grad students. www.ohiostudentassociation.org.
Ohio Organizing Collaborative is an innovative statewide organization that unites community organizing groups, labor unions, faith organizations, and policy institutes across the state. www.ohorganizing.org.
Freedom Side is a collective of young leaders of color, standing together at the front lines of the fight for racial justice. www.freedomside.org