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Another Antisemitic COVID-19 Shut Down Protest in Ohio


About 30 protesters staged a second protest at the home of Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, the same day the governor asked people to target him, not his cabinet.

One girl at the protest carried a sign that read “Jewish Leaders John 7:1,” a reference to Christian Scriptures. Specifically, the New Living Translation of that verse reads, “After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.”

Protesters came to the Bexley neighborhood by 5:30 p.m. May 4. A protest, apparently staged by a different group, was held May 2.

Katie R. Forbes, a freelance photographer who lives in Columbus, said people carried red, white and blue “open” banners on one side that had the American flag on the other. They sang “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin and “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie.

Forbes said this protest was louder than the one on May 2 and included heavier presence from law enforcement, including Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, who parked in the driveway of Acton’s home.

“They’re more attacking the science today,” she said.

The group of protesters was younger than the previous group, and no one carried weapons. Forbes said that at the May 2 protest a neighbor told her one man carried a gun.

“There were about seven children under 18,” she said. “The rest were adults.”

Clinical escorts, people who escort women to abortion clinics, sat on Acton’s lawn at the May 4 protest, Forbes said, whereas at the previous protest they stood on the tree lawn.

DeWine addressed the protesters and efforts at intimidating Acton and the media at his May 4 press conference. A protester approached WCMH reporter Adrienne Robbins April 30 and berated her for wearing a mask, saying that Robbins was “terrifying the general public.”

“As I shared with all of you, Fran and I grew up in Yellow Springs,” the home of Antioch College, DeWine said. “We grew up in a town (that) values the First Amendment to a great extent. And as we were growing up, demonstrators were in Yellow Springs a lot, and so that is something we’re used to and something that we respect. And so I am fair game.”

He said it is not fair game “to disrespect” or “be obnoxious” to the news media.

“You should come after me,” he said. “Reporters, photographers who are doing nothing more than following that First Amendment. They’re informing the public about what you think, what you say and what you think is important. The best way for you to get that across is the news media’s going to cover you. But to treat them with disrespect, to not observe social distancing with them, to be just obnoxious, I just find that very, very sad.