This updates story published Wednesday. Warren County protest rally organizer Deb Giehl is moving the planned Loveland rally to a location in Warren County
By: Chuck Gibson
UPDATE: LOVELAND, OH (May 7, 2020 10:54 A.M.) Deb Giehl contacted Loveland Beacon this morning to announce the protest rally for Free Ohio Now planned for Saturday, May 9, in Loveland has been cancelled.
After reading comments in response to the Loveland Beacon story published Wednesday, and shared on social media sites, Giehl says she is moving the event to a Warren County locatioin to be named later.
“I made a judgement call thinking it would help the Loveland businesses, but that was apparently a bad judgement call,” said Giehl. “I am in touch with city leaders in Lebanon to determine the best location there.”
While the protest rally will not happen in Loveland Saturday, Giehl says she will update us on the location as soon as she has it confirmed.
LOVELAND, OH (May 6, 2020)– Deb Giehl, a proclaimed political activist and resident of Loveland, was asked by the group “Free Ohio Now” to organize the Warren County protest rally in conjunction with their planned rallies in counties all across Ohio this Saturday, May 9.
Statement from City of Loveland came out early Wednesday afternoon
In a press release issued early Wednesday afternoon, The City of Loveland acknowledged awareness of plans for the rally in Loveland.
Here is the statement released from the office of City Manager David Kennedy: The City of Loveland is aware of a planned “protest-rally” by the group Free Ohio Now in Loveland on Saturday, May 9th, 2020. The City is committed to supporting everyone’s constitutional rights and has reached out to the group organizer. It is our intention to work together to make sure the event is safe for everyone.
Deb Giehl, political activist, Loveland resident, organizing Free Ohio Now “protest rally” planned for Loveland this Saturday, May 9 (Provided)
Giehl says no one from the City of Loveland has reached out to her, but acknowledged, they may have reached out to a group organizer listed on the Free Ohio Now site. Nonetheless, she says, while not directly affiliated with the Free Ohio Now group, they only reached out to her to organize the Warren County protest rally in the last 24 hours.
“Free Ohio Now is an organization that I believe is the main organizers up by the Cleveland area,” said Giehl. “Someone from their group called me yesterday to see if I would like to organize the Warren County protest. According to their website, as of today, there are 23 other counties in Ohio that are doing this peaceful protest around the state. They are all going to be on Saturday, May 9, from 1-2 p.m.”
In those 24 hours, she selected the area in Downtown Historic Loveland near the bike trail between Paxton’s Grill and Ramsey’s Trailside across from Jackrabbit for the rally. This is not Warren County. That fact alone has Loveland Mayor Kathy Bailey questioning the plan for a protest rally here.
“I don’t approve of it. I don’t think it’s an effective strategy to affect change,” said Bailey. “Why are you disrupting our businesses to protest something that is happening in Columbus? This is supposed to be the protest in support of Warren County businesses.”
Mayor Bailey pointed out there is not one inch of downtown Loveland in Warren County and not one Loveland business in Warren County. Giehl readily acknowledged the Loveland site she selected is not in Warren County. She explained the site was chosen because it was the location with the most potential to reach the most people with their message. Bailey cited Clermont County protest rally for the group is planned to take place in Batavia, the county seat. She doesn’t think it is a good idea for Giehl to stage the protest rally in Loveland if it is supposed to be on behalf of the Warren County business community.
“Why doesn’t she do it in Warren County,” Bailey asked. “It should be in Lebanon where the county seat is. Leave Clermont County and Loveland alone.”
Loveland Mayor Kathy Bailey (Provided)
Bailey is concerned the protest rally will be nothing more than a disruption the very businesses the group intends to help. She thinks their message is actually lost in doing it in the wrong county. The mayor is not in any way contradicting the statement released by the City of Loveland regarding the right to protest, or intent to work together to ensure everyone is safe during the rally.
“Absolutely, I support people’s right to protest,” Bailey said. “I am not in support of this particular protest. Certainly not in our city when it is supposed to be on behalf of Warren County businesses and there aren’t any in our city.”
Bailey is in favor of reopening Ohio – especially businesses in Loveland. She has said so publicly and expressed those wishes in a letter to Ohio Governor DeWine on behalf of the City of Loveland.
It is her assertion communications from city leaders throughout the state are a much more effective form of affecting change than a protest rally in Loveland. She wants the Governor to give the businesses “what they need to do, and let them do it.”
Giehl says the protest rally is meant for the people of Ohio who are tired of the COVID-19 quarantine and shutdown restrictions. She cites economic crash, closed schools, closed churches, and inconsistencies in the Governor’s daily press conference information, and the feeling of “a lot of people” that coronavirus numbers are inflated as the cause for protest.
“This is all being blown out of proportion,” Giehl said. “We want it stopped. We want the state to open. Businesses are losing their livelihood, there is a lot more abuse, spousal and child abuse.”
Free Ohio Now plans protest in counties across Ohio Saturday, May 9, 2020 (Photo credit Dayton Daily News)
Giehl says she has no idea how many people may participate in the protest rally in Loveland Saturday. She suggested it may be anywhere from 10-100. She is certainly hoping for more, but is challenged by short notice to get the word out. What is that message?
“The message is our local government is overreaching their power,” Giehl said. “What they’re doing is unconstitutional. Our rights are being trampled. We are tired, not only Ohio, but the entire country, of the broken economy.”
Giehl thinks ultimately there will be more deaths resulting from people losing their homes, going bankrupt, suicide, alcoholism and depression. She considers the numbers of deaths attributed to COVID-19 to be potentially “miniscule” when compared to those who will suffer from the strain of restrictions.
“As far as I’m concerned this is not living a life,” said Giehl. “We may be existing, but we’re no longer living. We want our freedoms back the way the constitution and our founding father’s wanted us to have. As Samuel Adams once said, ‘For true patriots to be silent is dangerous.’ We will no longer be silent.”