Jasmine Ayres

Who Speaks For Protesters?

Jul 8, 2020
Protesters march in downtown Columbus on June 2, 2020.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

This episode originally aired on June 25, 2020.

Protests against police violence and racial injustice have continued in Columbus and around the country since late May.

Some demonstrators are calling for the police to be reformed, while others want the departments defunded or even abolished. But who writes the new rules? Who are the demonstrators and who speaks for them?

St. Louis, St. Paul, Richmond, Boston — cities across the country have dismantled, torn down or removed their statues honoring the explorer Christopher Columbus. One of the more recent and more surprising additions to that list is his namesake: Columbus, Ohio. The city once had three Christopher Columbus statues.

Construction crews recently dismantled a marble statue on the campus of Columbus State Community College, loading it piece by piece onto a flatbed truck to be put into storage.

A small Columbus statue still stands on the lawn of the statehouse.

Columbus City Council / Twitter

Against the wishes of dozens of activists gathered outside Columbus City Hall, City Council members appointed a realtor to fill the latest vacancy on the governing body.

Yes We Can Columbus

Columbus City Council is expected to name a new member to fill its vacancy on Monday, and though Democratic group Yes We Can Columbus has one candidate as a finalist, they're protesting the proceedings.