Rallies held in Ohio cities to mark one-year anniversary of U.S. Capitol riots

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CLEVELAND, Ohio(WJW) – Rallies were held across Ohio on Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the riots at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Those commemorations continued into the night.

“I commend each of you for being here tonight in this very, very cold weather, but this is the least we can do. This is some of the price that we have to pay to ensure democracy continues to be alive. Amen,” said Bishop Omar Medina during a prayer at a vigil in downtown Cleveland.

Dozens of people gather in a frigid Public Square in downtown Cleveland Thursday evening, remembering the events of Jan. 6 –one year ago. 

That’s the day supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of Joe Biden as President of the United States.

“One year ago today, our democracy was under attack. One year ago today, the former president stood in front of his supporters and urged them to go to the Capitol and do what they thought was best to preserve his presidency,” said State Rep. Michael Skinell, (D) 13th district.

The group included elected officials, along with community members. Organizers say they didn’t only want to remember the day, but call for future change.

“Preserving our democracy and honoring those that were injured during the insurrection and ensuring that the Senate ends the filibuster and we get voting rights, so we need to get those legislations passed,” said organizer Diane Morgan.

“Through education, through entrepreneurship, real estate and generational wealth building, we must achieve equity and equality by organizing. That’s what this is tonight. By partnering, that’s what we’re doing tonight. By participating, that’s what we’re doing tonight, and by showing up, that’s what we’re doing tonight,” said Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell.

Dozens of people gathered in Akron Thursday night holding signs with a similar message. Organizers called it a “Vigil for Democracy” and a day of remembrance and action in front of the Highland Square Branch Library on West Market Street.

“Many are traumatized from the events from one year ago. Several people died, many were injured and the emotional scars still haunt many,” said Medina organizer Kristen Kranz.

There was also a “Day of Remembrance Vigil” in the Medina Square, where people also called for the passing of voting rights legislation and laws to prevent a similar attack.

“We’ve got to make the people at the top listen to us. We’ve got to get to the heart of people because the heart is what’s going to change people. Then, I don’t know because we’ve seen what happened and that should never again in history happen,” said Medina Square attendee Michelle Powell.

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