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Volunteers clean up downtown Cleveland following protest

Posted at 4:19 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 12:18:35-04

CLEVELAND — City workers were out in full force today cleaning up the damage left behind after a group of agitators broke away from Saturday's peaceful George Floyd protest and began vandalizing businesses. The workers received a lot of help from dozens of volunteers.

“We just wanted to come out here and clean up the place where we live,” said Joshua Hillman, who lives on East 4th Street.

Hillman and Korin Stubbs joined the dozens of volunteers leading clean-up efforts on East 4th Street after Saturday night’s destruction.

“Really focused on other people and fixing our community,” Stubbs said.

Multiple storefronts were left with shattered and smashed windows along East 4th, Euclid Avenue, and on Public Square.

“It's our city, we just have to come together and move past all these situations and grow from it,” said Charles Cradgett of Cleveland.

Cradgett joined volunteers cleaning up outside of Rebol on Public Square. Many of them were members of a local running group called Run with the Winners who went from block to block, sweeping up glass and picking up trash.

“We’re already part of the community, the running community of Cleveland as well as the overall community of Cleveland, and we’re downtown residents,” said DJ Steph Floss, with Run with the Winners.

DJ Steph Floss said it's important for him and others to support the community not just by cleaning it up, but also upholding the message so many protested for.

“You can clean up glass, you can clean up buildings, you can build new buildings, but black people’s lives, once they’re gone, they’re gone,” he said.

As the city goes through yet another transformation, volunteer Lori Swetlin, of Copley, hopes social change comes along with it.

“The thing I could hope for the most, is that we start to look through each other’s eyes, feel what each other feel, so that we can start doing the right thing all the time. I think if we all start trying to do the right thing all the time, the right things will start to happen,” Swetlin said.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.