By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's Most Read Online Digital Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgKathy Wray Coleman is a community activist, legal and political reporter, and a 22- year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio- Led by the Imperial Women Coalition, greater Cleveland community activists, elected officials (Cleveland councilpersons Mamie Mitchell and Brian Cummins), and Seymour Avenue residents rallied on May 6 at 2207 Seymour Avenue on Cleveland's west side where the home of convicted kidnapper and child rapist Ariel Castro once stood. Mainstream media local television stations 3, 5, 19 and Fox 8 news covered the well-attended event.
Castro held victims Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry captive for a decade at his since demolished home, and in chains, where he repeatedly raped and tortured them. May 6, 2015 marked the second anniversary of their rescue. DeJesus and Berry were teens at the time of their abduction by Castro, 52 at the time of his arrest in 2013, who hanged himself in prison while serving a life sentence.
At the rally activists saluted the victims for getting out alive, but called for more resources around violence against women and for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to implement the 27 recommendations relative to the Imperial Avenue Murders. They also addressed violence against women in greater Cleveland in general.
"We want the recommendations of the mayor's committee around the Imperial Avenue Murders implemented, we want suspected East Cleveland serial killer Michael Madison brought to trial, and we call for the Ohio Supreme Court to affirm the convictions and death sentence of serial killer Anthony Sowell, " said Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads the Imperial Women Coalition, and who led and was the key organizer of the rally.
The rally was a call to stop violence against women and children, including rape, murder, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
Sowell strangled 11 Black women to death at his home on Imperial Avenue on the city's east side, and raped three others, and Madison is in jail on a $6 million bond, and is accused of killing three Black women in neighboring East Cleveland in 2013. Sowell's convictions and death sentence are on appeal.
In addition to council persons Cummins and Mitchell, and Coleman, who also publishes Cleveland Urban News.Com, speakers were Khalid Samad of Peace in the Hood, Nicole Ziegler of a Delicate Rose.Org, Don Bryant of the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, the Rev. Lorenzo Norris of the Cleveland Clergy Alliance, the Rev. Pamela Pinkney-Butts, the Rev A.J. Thompson, Valerie Robinson of Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, the Rev Gwendolyn Pitts, Marva Patterson and Genevieve Mitchell of the Carl Stokes Brigade, Bill Swain of Revolution Books, the Rev Darlene Robinson, and a representative of Puncture the Silence.
People that live on Seymour Avenue spoke also, as well as an unidentified woman who said that her sister had been raped and murdered some 10 years ago.
Nicole Ziegler said that human trafficking is a $1.9 billion industry nationwide, and activist Don Bryant said that the apathy by city and county officials relative to violence against women is no different than the apathy relative to the shooting death last year by Cleveland police of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
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