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Ohio Statehouse Protest At Times Loud but Peaceful

Nearly 100 people stood outside the Ohio Statehouse today, joining thousands of other Americans gathered at state capitols across the country. Here’s why one group of demonstrators decided to attend.

Over 40 members of the Ohio Boogaloo Bois, a decentralized, armed libertarian organization, gathered at the Ohio State Capitol for what they called a rally for unity. Among the group was a man dressed in tactical gear, sunglasses and a luau necklace. The man, who opted not to give his name, says the goal of the day was to bring different political factions together.

“We hope to get all these groups out here, and get them on the same page, and not fighting each other and unite as Americans,” he said. “All we are about, period, is uniting everybody in America and get everybody on the same page.”

Many Boogaloo Bois attended, as well as a small mix of militia members, Trump supporters, Democrats and members of the Downtowners–a Columbus Black Lives Matter organization.

Among them was Timela who opted not to give her last name, an activist and member of the Downtowners. She says she attended the rally for solidarity and though things were calm, she’s wary of her safety–and the long-term goals of the Boogaloo movement.

“I’m not safe with the Boogs, just like I’m not safe with the Proud Boys. Because they say they’re fighting for everybody as in everybody,” she said. “Instead, they’re not fighting for to get justice, to get solidarity, to get unity. They’re not fighting for that instead they’re just fighting just to be fighting so their cause is not the same.”

Although things became loud and tensions escalated throughout the day, the demonstration remained peaceful.

Carter is an award winning multimedia journalist specializing in audio reporting and photojournalism. His work has appeared in NPR, The Washington Post and The Portager, where he works as a photo editor and reporter. His reporting centers around working class issues and the LGBTQIA+ community with a focus on voter disenfranchisement.