Tale Of Two Protests: Groups Rally For Different Causes Along Dorothy Lane
On Saturday there were two protests along Dorothy Lane Road in Dayton. Both drew honks from passing cars but the protests were for different reasons.
In front of DELCO Park in Kettering, about forty people rallied at a Protest While You Can! event. The protest was in response to bills (Senate Bill 16, Senate Bill 41, House Bill 22, House Bill 109) introduced this spring in the Ohio state legislature.
The protestors say the bills will stifle their ability to protest. Lynn Buffington is from Beavercreek.
“They are pretending that they are to protect against harms at protests. But all the harms that they want to protect against are already illegal," she said. "This is all just an effort to discourage and deter people from protesting.”
A few miles east, there was another group of protestors who braved the rain. The protest was in front of a Burger King across the street from The Greene.
It was organized by a group called Ohio Says No. On its Facebook page, the group says they oppose federal legislation related to gun control, voting rights and LGBTQ+ equality.
There was also a large banner that read "Vaccine Makers Exempt From Liability," referring to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. The bill has afforded protections to vaccine manufacturers during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
A man with a megaphone preached on the street corner. His badge said he was part of the "Ohio Patriots Alliance."
“The Democrats have got to go. Praise God," he said. "We are here for America. If you don’t support America, she will fall.”
Other protestors waved American flags and held signs. Some wore clothes with the Proud Boys logo. Women wore "Moms Against DeWine" t-shirts. State Representative Bill Dean from Xenia was in attendance wearing a Make America Great Again hat. His office did not respond to a request for comment.
At one point, the Beavercreek police stopped by. They asked a protestor with a megaphone to please move away from the Burger King Drive-thru microphone. The restaurant employees said they were unable to hear the customers’ orders. The protestor complied.
The group's Facebook page says they will hold another protest this Saturday at the same location to protest gun control measures from the Biden administration.
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.