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Online petition calling city to shut down apartments complex inspires march to support res

A unity march is planned Sunday, March 18th to show support for residents of Wedgewood Village Apartments in Columbus’ Hilltop neighborhood. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A unity march is planned Sunday, March 18th to show support for residents of Wedgewood Village Apartments in Columbus’ Hilltop neighborhood.

Hilltop Unity March: Stop the Hate and Violence was organized after a petition was created on Change.org calling on the City of Columbus to shut down the apartment complex after years of incidents involving violent crime.

Wedgewood Village Apartments is home to many Muslim refugees and immigrants from Somalia and other African countries.

March organizer Zerqa Abid said comments on the petition gave her concerns for the safety of residents.

"My major concern was that it could easily trigger hate crimes against this community,” said Abid.

My Project USA, Friends of the Hilltop, Columbus People’s Partnership and Shalom Zone of Greater Hilltop helped to organize the march.

Bill Huffman, from Friends of the Hilltop, said the petition singles out Wedgewood.

"Everyone understands that there's crime and there's drugs and prostitution, there's trafficking. You name it. But it's clear across the country. It's not just in one particular neighborhood or one apartment complex,” said Huffman.

Samira Mohamud and her family have lived at Wedgewood Village Apartments since 2009. Mohamud said comments on the online petition are hurtful.

"It's the neighborhood where I feel comfortable. I feel at home. I feel like I'm not away from where I lived back in Africa,” explained Mohumad.

The march starts 2:30 pm on Sunday at Georgesville Road and Sullivant Avenue and goes to Wedgewood Community Center.

More information on the march can be found here.

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