Marchers–perhaps 2,000–gathered on Jan. 16 at the Freedom Center, then marched up Vine Street to Fountain Square to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to renew themselves to the King dream and the unfinished business of the nation’s creed that all are created equal.
Since it was founded in December 2014, Black Lives Matter Cincinnati has become the leading voice for black liberation in the city, working to mobilize people to demand an end to police brutality, institutional racism, and other injustices.
“It’s a fight for black liberation, but it’s not a black fight,” said Brian Taylor, one of the original BLMC founders and a member of its steering committee. “Just like the fight for women’s liberation is not just a women’s fight.”
Pain, anger, and frustration combined with disbelief filled the crowd that gathered midday Saturday at Hamilton County Courthouse over the hung jury in the trial of Ray Tensing, the University of Cincinnati Police officer charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed black man.
The struggle to escape poverty in Cincinnati played out in front of Great American Tower on Saturday, when about 200 janitorial workers, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1, rallied for better wages and protested the use of nonunion contractors to clean buildings like Great American Tower, home to the city’s premier Class A office space.