Marches against injustice and for the awareness of racial inequality were held in several area communities recently. Vermilion, Ohio hosted a passionate march on Saturday, June 6, 2020. The march began at Main Street beach, continued down Liberty Avenue to Vermilion Road, and returned to downtown Vermilion.
The Vermilion Police Department and the City of Vermilion joined in condemnation of brutality and racism, assisted the march and provided traffic control to ensure the safety of all involved.
March organizer Charlotte Escalante, a Vermilion High School graduate, spoke to the group before the march underscoring her experience with racial injustice in Vermilion and the need to make people confront prejudice. Mayor Forthofer and Chief Hartung also were asked to speak.
On Sunday, May 31, 2020, approximately 125 people attended “A Vigil To Stand Up For Racial Justice!” at the Vermilion United Church of Christ in Vermilion. The peaceful event urged Vermilion residents to “unite to stand up for our brothers and sisters that are dying by senseless violence”. Participants held posters promoting racial justice. The vigil lasted approximately 45 minutes with speeches from Pastor Mindy Quellhorst and guest speakers. Donations were collected for social justice groups.
Following concerns voiced by some residents of potential rioting and looting, Mayor Forthofer issued a notice to Vermilion residents stating the vigil was a constitutional right. The City of Vermilion would not interfere, but the Vermilion Police Department and county law enforcement were prepared to keep every law abiding person in Vermilion safe.
PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Elizabeth Oakes