Bitterly cold winds didn’t prevent hot protesters from showing their opposition to Gov. John R. Kasich.
About 20 protesters gathered at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the city’s North Side and worked their way downtown to protest in front of the Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse on Market Street.
One of the protesters shouted, “This is what democracy looks like.”
The protesters repeatedly chanted “O-hi-o, SB5 has to go,” in reference to the Ohio Senate bill.
The protesters said the bill could drastically reduce collective-bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio.
The measure was approved 17-16 in the state Senate, but some Republicans voted with Democrats. It has gone to the House for consideration.
Youngstown State University’s March Against Madness was combined with the Ohio March Against Madness, as well as the International Women’s Walk for Choice.
Similar marches took place at or near college campuses throughout Ohio on Saturday.
One protester’s sign said, “Stop the Madness,” and another had signs with the number 5 with a slash through it.
Drivers of private vehicles, a bus and a police car honked in support of the demonstrators.
Molly Toth of Struthers was a spokeswoman for the protesters.
Funding for Planned Parenthood also has been cut, she said.
Under proposed legislation, Toth said, once a heartbeat is found, “the fetus can’t be aborted.”
Toth, who attends YSU, said the unionized faculty could foresee cuts in tenured positions as well as cuts in stimulus programs and increased student loans if SB5 passes.
There will be a Rally for Education and the community at YSU’s Beeghly Center at 5:30 p.m. April 18.
Andrew Smith, who is studying physics at YSU, said he is interested “in the good of the people versus the institution.”
But he believes the wealthy “are selling out the state. They are the upper of the upper, the rich of the rich.”
Protester Dan Buckler said state officials favoring the proposed cost-cuts say voters gave them a mandate to make changes. But those officials are plowing ahead he contended, “without any reason for busting up the unions.”