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Thursday, 03 October 2013 13:49

“Welcome to Ohio: Set Your Clocks Back 50 Years!”

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We Won't Go Back Rally at Ohio State House - October 2, 2013 We Won't Go Back Rally at Ohio State House - October 2, 2013

“Seems like old times,” was former ODP chair, David Leland’s comment when we exchanged greetings at the Statehouse, October 2nd. Indeed it did. About 1000 enthusiastic women and men showed up for a rally entitled, “We Won’t Go Back: Stand Strong with Ohio’s Women!”

Leland, who also served as finance chair for Ted Strickland’s successful governor’s run in 2010, is now running again for the state legislature. And he, like many of us, has seen lots of rally’s at the Statehouse—the most recent being the start of a successful campaign to repeal S.B. 5, passed by many of the same backward looking folks who are now trying to abridge women’s rights with a variety of restrictions on their reproductive health.

Of course, Leland did not speak at the rally. As seems to be customary and probably for the best, the speakers were all women, with Eleanor Smeal taking the lead. Sitting behind the speakers area, I didn’t catch all the speakers’ names, but my favorites were the doctor who spoke, holding a baby, the woman who represented “Catholics for Choice,” and Petee Tully, Sec.-Treasurer of Ohio AFL-CIO. There were actually a number of nurses and doctors at the rally, some wearing their white coats, and carrying signs such as:

LAWMAKERS: GET OUT OF MY EXAM ROOMS!

As always, at these rallies, I enjoy the signs, mostly homemade. Here are some, in no particular order:

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS

WOMEN WILL VOTE BLUE

RISE UP, WOMEN OF AMERICA: RATIFY ERA

KASICH’S HEALTH CARE PLAN: (picture of a coat hanger)

IF IT’S NOT YOUR BODY, IT’S NOT YOUR DECISION

ROE, ROE, ROE YOUR BOAT

TRUST WOMEN

TOLEDO: WE STAND WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD

MY BODY IS MY BUSINESS

WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED

I VOTED YOU TO BE STATE REP, NOT MY DOCTOR

CHURCH LADIES FOR CHOICE

GOD IS PRO CHOICE

WINNING GERRYMANDERED “SAFE DISTRICT” IS NOT LICENSE TO PRACTICE PLAYING DOCTOR

I HAD A SAFE, LEGAL ABORTION, AND I’M OK

HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A WOMAN SCORNED

And my favorite: WELCOME TO OHIO: SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK ’50 YEARS.

It does seem to this old guy that we do need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Some of these chauvinists will never let up in their efforts to dominate women…or anyone else they can. They are, after all the same folks that have shut down the government in Washington in an effort to embarrass our first black President and to deny needed services to millions of fellow citizens—just to save a few bucks for their wealthy contributors and thus cling to their own ill-served legislative seats.

Ellie Smeal, Feminist Majority
Video courtesy of Portia A. Boulger

Terry O'Neill, NOW
Video courtesy of Portia A. Boulger

Read 7009 times Last modified on Sunday, 06 October 2013 21:16
Jack Burgess

Jack Burgess, retired teacher and writer, has been a union staffer for the Columbus Education, where he helped lead the effort to get endorsements for the Equal Rights Amendment, negotiated the first maternity leave benefits for teachers, equal funding for girls' sports, and racial desegregation of staff and students of the Columbus Public Schools. He's also served as Ohio Coordinator for SEIU, working with 925 toward legislation helping women and men working in Ohio's offices. In addition, he organized and chaired the West Side Civic Association in Chillicothe, served as board president of the Godman Guild Settlement House in Columbus, and spokesperson for several progressive organizations. He's a published poet and married to Kathleen Burgess, music teacher and poet as well. He has four children, now grown. His columns on education, government, and politics appear regularly in several Ohio newspapers.

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