Location: Reynoldsburg City Hall, traveling West on Main Street, to Brice Rd. then crossing the street to turn east on Main Street to the Reynoldsburg police station.
Tell me about the march. Why organize it?
My friends and I had the idea because we are frustrated with everything that is going on. All the police brutality facing the black community that has been going on for a while. I do not think any of us expected it to get as big as it is getting. It is to raise awareness and hold people accountable for what is happening in America.
I think people believe that when we are marching, the objective is to point the finger at the Reynoldsburg police. It is not. I think the Reynoldsburg police do an amazing job. It is to ask them to hold other police departments accountable. Columbus does have one of the largest rates of police brutality in the country.
Sidebar: Yikes. I didn’t realize that.
The fact that we must march and protest during a pandemic speaks to how serious the issue is. All the police brutality happening at the protests was a motivating force for us to start it.
How is the route of the march significant?
Our route is in the middle of Reynoldsburg. We are starting at Reynoldsburg City Hall, then walking down Main Street towards 270, then circling back around to the police station. The route was selected so we can get the most exposure. We did not want to be in the residential areas because we did not want to disturb anyone. We also want to get as much attention to the cause as possible. We are ending at the police department to ask the police to hold other police departments accountable for their actions.
How do you ensure peace at the protest?
It is about knowing the purpose. We are going to address the crowd before we start the march. We want everyone to understand that this is not a riot. This is a peaceful protest. There is always a risk that a protest can turn violent. Everyone that I know that is a part of the Black Lives Matter movement have never had any ill intentions or wanted to start a riot. It has all been peaceful. We just want to be heard. There is no guarantee. I just hope people understand that there is a better way to be heard other than violence.
I am a high school student. I am 16. All my friends who are helping me organize this are high school students. This is the first time that we as young adults have felt that we can use our voice and that our voice is being heard. This is the first time that we have seen other high school students become politically involved. Often our generation gets a bad rep (reputation) of not wanting to do anything.
Sidebar: I tried to take as many pictures of people prior to the march.
Sidebar: I included the next picture in case you think there weren’t that many people marching.
My take: The leadership of these young people was inspiring to view. The protest was well planned and executed. They even had water along the route for participants.
There were countless people who honked their car horns as they drove by, and some putting their fists out the window as a show of support. It was hot (about 88 degrees). I didn’t walk the entire route. On my way back to move my car to get the group coming back down Main Street, a worker in a city of Reynoldsburg SUV said, “This protest is wonderful”.
People of all races, ages, etc., were protesting TOGETHER! Enough said.