WOOSTER, Ohio — You’ve seen protests against racial injustice in cities across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. But one of the lesser-known, long-standing demonstrations is in Wooster, Ohio, in Wayne County, where protesters have gathered for more than 80 days — standing up for racial justice.
“To me I just keep coming out here to try and change the hearts and minds of people in Wooster,” said Rosanna Ralston, one of the demonstrators. “Yes, we understand that all lives matter, and if they agree, then they should be fighting for Black and brown lives.”
It’s a small group but they've gathered for weeks in all types of weather. Most demonstrators gathered in downtown Wooster say the community has been mostly supportive, but some have faced backlash.
“I’m standing with a sign I think that’s not very controversial,” said Mary Hruby, holding a “racism is wrong” sign. “It's kind of an entry level thing. But, I've had older white gentlemen in nice cars roll down their windows and say, ‘no.’ To that? How is that controversial?”
Demonstrators say they have no plans to stop any time soon. Their goal is to have their protests grab the attention of local officials.
“Having grown up in this town you learn to recognize certain entrenched ways of thinking in this town,” said Désirée Weber. “Not everyone gets to have that experience of the lovely, peaceable, Wooster, where everyone is welcome. And we want to make that true for everyone.”