Ohio University students were arrested Wednesday night during a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s immigration halt.
Police arrested approximately 70 protesters who attended to demand that the college become a “sanctuary campus,” reports WCPO.
Police charged them with criminal trespass, according to Ohio University officials. Protesters refused to use a designated space to hold their protest, choosing instead to take it to Baker Center, officials said.
“At approximately 7:22 p.m. OUPD Chief Andrew Powers delivered his first warning that anyone refusing to leave would be arrested within the hour. They were given ample opportunity and time to relocate, and at 7:58 p.m.OUPD began arresting anyone who refused to leave,” the university’s statement read.
Protesters began their demonstration outside the Athens Courthouse before heading toward Baker Center. During their trek to the building, demonstrators blocked traffic.
“I’m a Muslim, so it deeply bothers me that there can be such an outright racist law or executive order that is passed,” Bobby Walker said. “It bothers me, of course, but more because I’m thinking of Muslim friends and comrades who cannot freely move.”
Once at the Baker Center, students held a sit-in and played the guitar. Some also gave speeches to those gathered there.
“We will not let them deport our Bobcat family. We will not let them divide our Bobcat family,” Jolana Ozara, a graduate student, said.
A women’s gender and sexuality studies major also spoke out at the rally, saying that she stood in solidarity with those hurt by the temporary immigration moratorium.
“(My family) won’t listen to me because I’m young and gay and in college. They tell me Donald Trump has Jews in mind … because he cares about Israel, he cares about me, and that’s not fucking true. Every Nazi I saw walking across the street does not give a shit about me,” Mara Siegel said.
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