Protesters at Ohio University's Baker Center.

About 70 protesters advocating for immigrants are arrested at Ohio University

Feb. 2, 2017
Students who want the campus to be a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants were charged with trespassing after refusing to leave the university's student center.

About 70 people at Ohio University were arrested Wednesday night after protesters refused to disperse from the Baker Center on the Athens campus.

WCMH-TV reports that the protesters were vowing to stay in Baker Center until the university officials met their demands to make Ohio University a sanctuary campus to protect students who are undocumented immigrants.

"We are prepared to stay in Baker University Center until Ohio University meets our demands of becoming a sanctuary campus," said a statement from the group posted on Facebook.

The group also is seeking to prevent concealed-carry weapons from being allowed on campus.

"This is not about trying to take away gun rights," the group says. "This about keeping class discussion open and safe."

A little more than two hours after the protest began Wednesday evening, university police began arresting protesters who refused to leave the Baker Center. About 70 people were charted with criminal trespass, the university said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"Disruption of university operations is unlawful," the statement says. "With safety and security at the forefront of all concerned, [police] and university administration worked together to arrange an alternate space for protestors to gather that...would allow for university operations to continue uninterrupted."

At about 7:22 p.m. University Police Chief Andrew Powers warned protesters that anyone refusing to leave would be arrested within the hour. At 7:58 p.m. officers began arresting those who refused to leave.

Video from NBC

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