Ohioans Protest Gov. DeWine for Third Time in Two Weeks

 

Protesters gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus Friday to protest Gov. Mike DeWine’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic for at least the second time this week.

Despite the rain, a group of protesters congregated outside the capitol building and demanded DeWine leave his office to come speak with them.

“Freedom is essential,” the protesters chanted. “We want freedom!”

The protest marked at least the third demonstration in front of the Ohio Statehouse in two weeks and the second protest this week.

Similar protests against stay-at-home mandates were occurring across the country Friday and several more are planned for the weekend. President Donald Trump tweeted his support for protesters in Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia on Friday morning.

Ohio has been under a shelter-in-place order since March 23 and will remain so until at least May 1, the governor said during a Thursday press briefing.

“We’re excited about being able to do it. So May 1 is the date. It’s not that we’re reopening the state, in that sense. But we want to do it in a way that engenders confidence in the people of the state of Ohio,” DeWine said about his plans to reopen Ohio’s economy.

Protesters have repeatedly called for DeWine to fire Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health and a former campaign volunteer for President Barack Obama. As The Ohio Star reported, Acton put a notorious abortionist back in businesses in December and was accused by several pro-life groups of not sharing DeWine’s pro-life politics.

A Monday protest led by Ohio Senate candidate Melissa Ackison explicitly called for Acton’s termination with chants of “O-H-I-O, Acton’s got to go.”

“This is our republic. These men and women are tyrants,” Ackison said during the protest. “My husband and my son were confront by the police last week for simply trying to make a living all the while these politicians are being paid from our tax dollars.”

“This is an uprising! Stand up, demand answers,” Ackison continued. “They’re not showing you the data. They’re not showing you the facts.”

Several Republican lawmakers have called on DeWine to begin the process of reopening Ohio for business.

The governor has faced significant criticism over the modeling he is using to guide his response to the pandemic, The Star reported. He also faced backlash for initially concealing the number of negative COVID-19 test results in the state.

New unemployment numbers released Thursday showed that the state had 157,218 new unemployment claims last week alone. The state has lost more jobs in four weeks than it has in two years.

As of Friday, Ohio had 9,107 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 2,424 hospitalizations, and 418 deaths, according to the Department of Health.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]com.
Photo “Ohio Protest” by Melissa Ackinson. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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