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Protesters were arrested on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 in Baker Center by members of local law enforcement. The protesters congregated on the fourth floor after an anti-Trump rally at the Athens County Courthouse.

Seven more plead not guilty after Baker sit-in

Seven more people pleaded not guilty Thursday after being arrested during a sit-in at Baker Center last week.

Those who appeared at Athens Municipal Court, 8 E. Washington St., Thursday were just a portion of the 70 protesters arrested last Wednesday for criminal trespassing charges — a fourth-degree misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $250 and a maximum jail sentence of 30 days.

Fourteen others pleaded not guilty Monday. All of those who pleaded not guilty are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 16.

Claire Seid, a member of F--kRapeCulture, who attended the arraignment with a group of others called “court support,” said Thursday’s proceedings were “boring.”

On Monday, more than a dozen supporters, including Seid, showed up in the courtroom as the arraignments were scheduled to begin, but were asked to leave due to overcrowding, according to a previous Post report.

On Thursday, a few of the supporters were able to stay in the courtroom throughout the arraignments. Some held small signs that said “We Support You.”

Danica Bickley, a junior studying creative writing who uses they/them pronouns, said they were “anxious” about the arraignment and didn’t know what to expect on Monday.

“I think they’re pretty bogus,” they said. “We were charged with criminal trespassing in the student center during operation hours. … It seems silly.”

The sit-in was held to persuade OU officials to declare the university a “sanctuary campus,” which would allow the university to limit its cooperation with federal immigration services.

After about two hours in Baker Center, the Ohio University Police Department issued a warning to demonstrators and then began arresting those who would not leave the fourth floor.

According to a news release on Twitter, OUPD said the protesters created an “unsafe condition.”


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