Stand for America Rally at Ohio Statehouse on July 18


A “Stand for America Against Terrorists and Tyrants” rally will be held on the Ohio Statehouse grounds on Saturday, July 18, from noon to 3 p.m. The rally is a grassroots effort, hosted by the Ohio Patriot Action Network and organized by John Witwer, an Ohio business owner, and Dan Ciammaichela, a retired U.S. Marine. “We want to show that there are many patriots who love America, who stand for the flag and kneel for the cross,” said Witwer in an interview.

Face masks are optional, and there will be an Anti-Mask Civil Disobedience Rally at the same location at 11 a.m.

Around the country, Americans of all races are beginning to respond to the rioters and looters, which include violent criminals and domestic terrorists. Last weekend, 400 people held a “Back the Blue” demonstration in support of the New York Police Department in Brooklyn, New York. Meanwhile in Manhattan, 100 Trump supporters wearing t-shirts, reading  “All Lives Matter,” gathered in front of Trump Tower, the president’s former residence, on Fifth Avenue. This is where protesters—with the support of Mayor Bill De Blazio—recently painted “BLACK LIVES MATTER” in huge yellow letters.

Of course, Trump got this message in 2016 and instituted policies that led to the lowest unemployment rate and highest income for African Americans in our history. He also signed the First Step Act—long-overdue justice reform, which he championed—into law in 2018.

On June 20 this year, Witwer, Ciammaichella and several friends were volunteering at the Ohio Statehouse cleaning graffiti from statues, steps and walls, defaced by BLM protesters. BLM supporters started harassing and threatening the volunteers. The confrontation provided motivation for Witwer and Ciammaichella to organize the July 18 rally.

Witwer lamented that just “calling ourselves patriots” incurs accusations of racism and being “KKK members.” Instead, he emphasized that any white supremacists would be promptly escorted from the rally. “We allow no racism or antisemitism at our rallies, none.”

To ensure safety, 300 armed members of Ohio militias will provide security. Children are not invited to the Stand for America rally.


Corey T. Branham, a U.S. Air Force veteran who ran in the Republican primary to represent the 22nd district of the Ohio State Senate, will lead the rally in prayer and talk about the importance of religion in America.

Then Sarah Cleveland, a popular conservative activist and wife and mother, will talk about the need for women to stand up for gun rights and the Second Amendment.

Next to speak will be Mark Richardson, the Republican candidate for Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District against incumbent Democrat Joyce Beatty. Richardson is a decorated U.S. Navy veteran and longtime leader in corporate finance. He will talk about rebuilding America and how to pull the country back together.

Rob Weber, the Republican candidate for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, will then speak. After graduating from West Point as an environmental engineer, Weber served for five years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of captain. He then become a trial lawyer dedicated to helping people in need. Weber is running against Democrat incumbent Marcy Kaptur.

The rally’s keynote speaker will be Jack Windsor, an investigative reporter for WMFD TV in Mansfield, Ohio. Windsor will talk about the importance of restoring integrity to journalism, which has been purged from the mainstream media.

Next on the podium will be Joel Patrick, known as “The Legendary Black Redneck,” who hosts a weekly podcast on WHIZ radio. Patrick is a black conservative who speaks out about abortion, the Second Amendment, the persecution of Christians and the censorship of conservatives in the mainstream media.

A recent addition to the agenda is Matt Lutz, the Sheriff of Muskingum County, who will speak about constitutional rights and governmental orders regarding wearing face masks.

Witwer is also working on a mystery guest—who supports BLM. “We want to bring everyone together and unite around what we have in common as Americans,” he said.

Stand for America

Stand for America supports core conservative principles, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The group supports law enforcement officers in their courageous efforts to maintain peace and order—and opposes police brutality. Also supported is “our constitutionally elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and the constitutional electoral system that elected him and every other president of our great nation,” according to Stand for America’s Facebook page. Even so, the rally is not a political event, according to Witwer and Ciammaichela.

Please note that the Stand for America rally is not associated with Nikki Haley’s Stand for America advocacy group, although commonality seems apparent. Haley, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor, founded the advocacy group to promote public policies that strengthen America’s economy, culture and national security,” according to the website.

For a full statement of Stand for America’s core principles and for updated information, please refer to the rally’s Facebook event page.

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Patrick J. McCloskey is a reporter for the Ohio Star and may be contacted at p[email protected]
Photo “Ohio Statehouse” by MJ. CC BY-SA 4.0.







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