Protesters Chant ‘Free Ohio Now’ at Rally in Lisbon

By Patricia Schaeffer
LISBON, Ohio — Chants of “Free Ohio now,” “Open Ohio now” and “Resign DeWine” were shouted by about 150 people who gathered Saturday afternoon and marched around the village square in front of the Columbiana County courthouse.

The rally of citizens objecting to how Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton are handling the COVID-19 pandemic was one of 33 held across the state today, according to organizers.

“I wish that people were more aware that once you lose your essential freedoms, it’s very difficult to get it back,” stated Wayne Herrod of Lisbon.

Herrod, donning a Revolutionary War hat, said he is a Coast Guard veteran who served stateside during the Vietnam War and he believes Americans are giving away many of the freedoms long fought for by the nation’s soldiers.

As the rally, organized by Roberta Baker of Calcutta, got underway Karlye McDole of East Liverpool led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem followed by the first of three speakers, Scott Cahill of Salem.

Wayne Herrod of Lisbon wore a hat similar to those worn by Revolutionary War soldiers. Photo by Patricia Schaeffer

Cahill was described as an expert on infrastructure and a speaker on the U.S. Constitution who has appeared on CBS News.

Citing the federal code, Cahill argued that DeWine and Acton are violating individual rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution and the actions they took to shut down businesses and require people to stay at home are unconstitutional. He pointed out that never in history has the federal or state government quarantined healthy people, only the sick.

“We are under house arrest in Ohio and it has to stop now,” he said before turning the stage over to Marv Kinsey of Lisbon.

Kinsey, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a Green Beret who was with Special Operations Command, thanked the veterans in the audience for their service a couple of times.

He, too, talked about constitutional rights and quoted President Thomas Jefferson: “Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. When government fears the people, there is liberty.”

Kinsey’s remarks drew cheers from the crowd.

“Governor DeWine, you don’t need to give us permission to be Americans,” he said in closing.

Dale Hammon of East Liverpool mugs with Tom Pressly of Poland as Trump. Photo by Patricia Schaeffer.

The final speaker was Josh Lytle, president of Family Care Ministries of East Liverpool and Chester, W.Va., who addressed what he called the critical need to get churches reopened. Alcohol and drug recovery programs based in these institutions need to be operating but because they are faith-based, they are not considered essential,” he said.

Lytle pointed out that there was never a more critical time than now to get things back on track. Recovery programs once lauded for their successes by DeWine are now being halted by his actions, he said.

Some of those who attended the rally offered their comments as the group began to form a line, parade around the square and chant “Free Ohio Now.”

Protesters march around the square. Photo by Patricia Schaeffer.

Baker, the rally organizer, called the protest a success and said more will be held as long as there is a need.

As the group disbanded. Lisbon police arrested two intoxicated local men in attendance. Police chief Tim Abraham said one was cited for open container, while his friend was arrested and charged with disorderly (conduct) by persistence, after engaging with the police when they took the beer away from his friend.

Several of the remaining protestors thanked Abraham and his officers for monitoring the rally and keeping things safe.

Pictured at top: About 150 people gather for the rally Saturday afternoon in Lisbon. Photo by Patricia Schaeffer.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.