Hundreds demonstrate in Columbus in support of Palestinians in Gaza

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Some of the protesters at a pro-Gaza rally Saturday outside the Ohio Capitol in Columbus hold a Palestinian flag, signs and shout in unison chants along with several hundred other participants.  The rally then turned into a march that headed north along High Street, through downtown, to the Short North and toward the Ohio State campus.

About 800 people took to the streets of Columbus in a demonstration Saturday that began at the Ohio Capitol in support of Palestinians and Muslims in Gaza.

Four hours later, after a march north along High Street, it ended where it began, with a single arrest and no major incidents.

Columbus police attribute this situation to the city’s new approach to dealing with crowds.

“We are supporting First Amendment rights without subjection to content,” said Columbus Police Cmdr. Duane Mabry told several people on the street who asked him why the crowd, which did not have permission to march, was allowed to take to the city streets, especially given the crowds and traffic after a football game. American from Ohio State University. “This is Columbus’ version of a global dialogue.”

Chanting through megaphones, raising Palestinian flags, stopping to make speeches and occasionally sparring verbally, the crowd marched into the heart of the Short North for another roughly half-hour demonstration there.

October 21, 2023;  Columbus, Ohio, United States;  Hundreds of people gathered outside the Ohio Capitol in support of Palestinians and Muslims in Gaza.

The event, called “All for Gaza,” was sponsored by the Ohio State Students for Justice in Palestine, although Columbus police said it was made up of several groups, some of which did not want to cooperate with the agreed-upon rules.

At least one person was arrested for disorderly conduct, Columbus police say. But overall the protesters, while loud and disruptive to traffic, appeared peaceful, despite ignoring a police barricade of officers on bicycles at North High Street and Buttles Avenue and continuing down Shorth North to West 2nd Avenue.

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