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Ohio

A Black-Led Bike Share Company Is Charting A New Course

Youngstown, Ohio - From protecting the planet to serving the public of entire cities with accessible and affordable transportation options, the missions of bike share services across the country and around the world are often broad. They’re intended to serve large swaths of a population, yet people of color, low-income folks, and others from marginalized communities are often left out as services bend toward wealthier and whiter neighborhoods and urban centers. Most bike shares also rely on corporate sponsorships for their existence. When this critical financial support evaporates at the whims of said corporation, as has recently happened in the Twin Cities, the service itself is jeopardized. In Youngstown, Ohio, a local family is looking to do things differently in their hometown.

Cleveland’s Circular Economy Helps Reduce Waste And Build Jobs

Cleveland, Ohio - While meeting with a local farmer two years ago, Eric Diamond of Central Kitchen, a food business incubator in Cleveland, Ohio, learned that the farmer wasn’t able to sell all the carrots in his fields. Some of the carrots – while perfectly nutritious – weren’t the right size or shape for grocery stores’ and restaurants’ specifications. That sparked a question, and a business idea was born. “I said to him, ‘What do you do with the carrots?’ and he said, ‘We leave them to rot in the fields because we don’t have an end market,’” said Diamond. “So, I said, ‘What if we buy the ones that don’t meet your specifications, and we process them and sell them to school districts?’” Soon afterwards, the farmer, Wayward Seed Farm in Fremont, Ohio, began taking the carrots that would otherwise have been thrown away and dropping them off at Central Kitchen.

Water Protectors Protest Proposed Salmon Farm

Toledo, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Lucas County Port Authority board has approved a $400 million bond for a salmon fishing facility in Williams County, but many locals are not happy with the decision. A group of advocates attended a Port Authority board meeting Thursday morning to talk about how they believe this facility could harm drinking water. The AquaBounty facility will be allowed to take more than five million gallons of water per day out of the Michindoh Aquifer, a large freshwater source. The water will then be dumped back into the St. Joseph River. Those two sources provide drinking water for thousands of people. Sherry Fleming is the chair person of the Williams County Alliance and says this is a huge concern for her community. “Fresh water is such a critical, essential resource for survival for all life,” says Fleming.

Why Grassroots Activists Are Turning To The Wonky World Of Monetary Policy To Fight For Economic Justice

Ohio - How many people would like to cut the cost of local mass transit improvements in half, divert local tax dollars from big bank use to supporting low-income housing at home, see one-time federal relief packages for struggling families continue? All that and much more becomes possible without costing taxpayers a dime, if we choose a more efficient and democratic system for handling money than our current one, which systematically benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. To learn how, we’ll need to explore a different “plumbing system” for handling our money supply. In a groundbreaking move in this direction, a League of Women Voters group has been doing exactly that, calling us to consider how something we take for granted — the money supply — can be reinvented in a way that promotes democracy, justice and the planet.

Media Spreads Call For Violence As Protests Erupt In Ohio Youth Prisons

Massillon, Ohio - On the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October, at least two protests broke out at the Indian River youth prison in Massillon, Ohio. In one protest, a guard was struck in the head and beaten down with a radio, and in another a dozen kids broke out of their cells, armed themselves, and set up barricades, which they defended until the following morning. Other protests and fights have occurred over the previous months. In response to the riot, local media responded with systematic spins and manipulations to help spread calls by the guards for more physical violence against the children. Two area papers, the Columbus Dispatch and the Canton Repository, as well as the local TV station, WKYC, referred to the children locked up at Indian River as “inmates,” “criminals,” or at best, “juveniles.” They referred to their cells as “rooms.”

Students For A Democratic Society Convention: ‘Not Another Step Back!’

Kent, Ohio - On October 15 and 16, members of the New Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) from across the United States gathered for their annual national convention at Kent State, Ohio. Roughly 90 students from SDS chapters and affiliates listened to speakers and gave workshops, summing up their victories and losses over the past year. The convention was united under the slogan of, “Not Another Step Back!” in reference to the year-long fight to keep rights such as the right to an abortion, but also to win even more. They featured national SDS’ commitments to, “Fight for Black lives, defend Roe v. Wade, and stop homophobic and transphobic attacks.” The location was particularly poignant to New SDS, as local students and faculty membered the four students who were killed on campus by the National Guard in 1970 for protesting the Vietnam War.

Columbus Police Execute Donovan Lewis

In the midwestern city of Columbus, Ohio, 20-year-old Donovan Lewis was shot to death while lying in his bed during the early morning hours of August 30. Police claimed they were serving an arrest warrant on multiple charges although there was no threat from Lewis who was unarmed. The police in Columbus say that Lewis raised his arms and therefore this justified the bullet fired into his body causing him to die at a hospital shortly afterwards. The officer involved in the killing of Lewis, Ricky Anderson, a 30-year veteran of law-enforcement, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal and judicial investigation. This act of blatant police violence represents a continuation of the legacy of law-enforcement brutality and killings across the United States.

Teachers Union In Ohio Went On Strike For Students—And Won

Columbus, Ohio - Students, teachers, and support staff in Ohio's largest school district returned to the classroom on Monday after the Columbus Education Association won a new contract and ended its weeklong strike. Gathered at the local minor league ballpark on Sunday, CEA members voted 71% to 29% to approve a three-year contract with Columbus City Schools that satisfies most of the union's demands, which revolved around improving students' learning environments and opportunities. "We are so excited to get back to where we belong—our classrooms—doing what we do best: educating our students and shaping the future of our great city," CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes said at a press conference.

First Columbus Teachers Strike In Almost 50 Years

At 7 o’clock Monday morning, teachers and education workers of the Columbus Education Association union in Ohio went on strike, marking the first time teachers have gone on strike in the city since 1975. Columbus City Schools is the largest school district in the state of Ohio and the school year was originally scheduled to begin today. The 4,500-member union — representing teachers, librarians, nurses, counselors, psychologists and other education professionals — met for more than three hours to vote on Sunday. Over 94 percent of members voted to reject the Columbus City school board’s latest “final” offer and in favor of going on strike. The school district has hired 600 substitute teachers to cover for the 4,500 education workers who are currently on strike. The district is telling the parents and guardians of the nearly 47,000 students in the district to log in virtually for synchronous and asynchronous learning for the first day of classes or risk truancy — putting families at risk. In other words, the school district is trying to coerce Columbus families to cross the virtual picket line.

Columbus Teachers Strike On First Day Back To School

Columbus, Ohio - A strike by teachers in Ohio's largest school district entered its third day Wednesday — the first day of school for some 47,000 students, with some of those students and their parents rallying to their sides. Parents, students, teachers and other employees gathered at schools across the Columbus School District with plans to picket for hours, advocating for safer buildings, better heating and air conditioning, smaller class sizes, and a more well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music and physical education. It’s the union’s first strike in the district since 1975. Picketers blasted music on the sidewalks outside Whetstone High School in Columbus and waved to honking drivers. Some held up signs reading, “Columbus schools deserve working air,” “a history lesson in progress" and “my feet hurt but I'll walk as long as it takes.”

Teachers Picket Outside Columbus School Buildings On First Day Of Strike

In March 2019, following numerous community pleas to curb graft among local police that had fallen upon deaf ears, residents of Kyere, Uganda tricked a notoriously corrupt police officer into a bribery arrangement. They caught him red-handed. Emerging from their hiding places in a community market, they seized the officer and arrested him—a man who had often used the same power of arrest to extort from them! This effective sting operation occurred without any of the usual police brutality toward activists. As democracy erodes at an Increasing Pace, slipping our species toward the normalization of authoritarianism, protesters are understandably exploring how they can stay safe. But reducing the risks of our nonviolent actions can also come at a cost—the cost of our power.

Akron Declares State Of Emergency After Police Execute Jayland Walker

Protests have continued in Akron, Ohio after the June 27 police killing of Jayland Walker, 25, who had 90 bullets fired at him by officers, 60 of those rounds struck the victim. After the release of a police video of the shooting of Walker, who was unarmed, people poured into the streets to demand justice for the African American motorist. Police claimed that Walker had fired at them during a chase, however, he was not carrying any firearm when he was struck down in the hail of bullets fired by Akron police. The police later claimed they discovered a handgun in Walker’s vehicle after he had already been executed. This incident represents a continuation of police violence directed towards African Americans across the United States. More than two years since the brutal police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis along with the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery by vigilantes in Brunswick, Georgia, the various law-enforcement agencies have been given even more resources by the federal government to carry out their brutal treatment of Black and People of Color Communities.

Protesting For Jayland Walker

Jayland Walker was killed by police in Akron, Ohio when he was shot more than 60 times. The nature of his death, and the brutality of his killing, made headlines. But lest anyone forget, the police kill an average of three people every day in this country and one of those victims will be Black. We do forget while the police snuff out more than 1,000 lives every year . We awake from the slumber of semi-denial when a case comes to public attention that is especially egregious. It can be George Floyd begging for his life or Jayland Walker being executed by a mob. There are times when we can’t look away.

Akron Community Outraged Over Yet Another Police Lynching

Akron, Ohio - Over 1,000 people marched through downtown Akron July 3 to demand justice in the police lynching of Jayland Walker. The 25-year-old Black Doordash driver was riddled with bullets fired by Akron police June 27. Cops purportedly attempted to stop Walker over a traffic violation. A high-speed chase ensued, in which police claim Walker somehow fired at them while driving; the cops fired multiple shots towards Walker’s vehicle. When Walker tried to flee on foot, police fired at least 90 shots at him, hitting Walker at least 60 times.

Protests After Akron Police Murder Jayland Walker

Akron, Ohio – On July 3, hundreds of people took to the streets and participated in marches demanding justice for Jayland Walker, an African American man who was murdered by Akron police on June 27. Shot over 60 times and then handcuffed after his body was full of holes and bleeding wounds, Jayland Walker was unarmed while murdered by police. The organized protests follow days of sporadic unrest throughout the city. After the seventh day, the Akron Police Department finally held a press conference which released body-cam footage detailing the incident to the public.
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