CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio- Local community activist groups and Black elected officials, led by the Imperial Women Coalition and Black on Black Crime Inc, will host the 7th Anniversary of the Imperial Avenue Murders rally and vigil on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4:45 pm on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland in front of the since demolished home of serial killer and death row inmate Anthony Sowell. The day marks the 7th anniversary since 2009 when authorities began pulling dead bodies from the home on the city's largely Black east side.
.(Contact persons are community activists Kathy Wray Coleman of the Imperial Women Coalition at (216) 659-0473 and Al Porter of Black on Black Crime Inc. and the Black Man's Army at (216) 804-7462. Please bring protest signs against violence against women as the theme of the rally is "stop violence against women, including rape, murder, domestic violence and groping." Other participating activist groups include Peace in the Hood, the Carl Stokes Brigade, the Million Women March Cleveland, Revolution Books, the People's Forum and Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor. (For directions to the rally/vigil take Kinsman Rd from downtown Cleveland to East 123rd Street. Turn left, and go three blocks to Imperial Avenue).
"We call for the Ohio Supreme Court to uphold Anthony Sowell's convictions as well as for a moratorium on violence and other abuse of women nationally, statewide and locally," said Cleveland activist Kathy Wray Coleman, a founding member of the Imperial Women Coalition, the women's rights group derived from the unprecedented tragedy.
Sowell, 57, was convicted in 2011 by a Cuyahoga County jury on 82 of 83 counts, including 11 counts of aggravated murder of the 11 Black women that he strangled to death at his home, and three counts of rape as to the rape of three other Black women, also at his home.
His convictions, including the death penalty, are on appeal before the Ohio Supreme Court and his attorneys, with support from the Ohio ACLU, are seeking a new trial on his behalf..
Other issues of public concern relative to the rally, say activists, are the still at large purported serial killer that killed four women between early March and the middle of May in 2013, three Black and one White, along a strip at E. 93rd Street in Cleveland, also on the city's east side, and East Cleveland serial killer Michael Madison, who killed three Black women in 2013 and wrapped their remains in Black trash bags.
Black elected officials are slated to speak, including state Representative Stephanie Howse and Cleveland councilmen Ken Johnson and Mamie Mitchell, along with community activists, Black clergy, and some family members of murdered Black women such as Angelique Malone, whose mother, Christine, is a victim of the Cleveland East 93rd Street still at large serial murderer.
Other speakers include magistrate and domestic relations court judicial candidate Tonya Jones, Harvard Community Services Center President and CEO Elaine Gholstin, immediate family members of the Imperial Avenue murder victims such as the mother of Tishana Culver and the brother and aunt of Diane Turner.
Activists who will speak include Khalid Samad, who will do the opening prayer, Kathy Wray Coleman, Al Porter, the Rev Gwendolyn Pitts, and Genevieve Mitchell.