OBERLIN — Across the country Thursday organizers held rapid response rallies, protesting the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and calling for protections for the Robert Mueller investigation. In Lorain County, residents crowded Tappan Square at 5 p.m., hoping federal and state leadership would take note.
The local rally, triggered by the national call put out on MoveOn.org, was organized by Lorain County Rising founder Lili Sandler. Forty 40 to 50 people from high schoolers to senior citizens gather at of North Main and East College streets in Oberlin.
“This has been planned for over a year, it was maybe even close to a year-and-a-half ago, when they started advertising this and sort of encouraging local groups to become a part of this coalition,” Sandler said.
She said the organization’s website had a placeholder event until Thursday’s rally was triggered, and in the time leading up to that, people have been signing up for events in their areas. Oberlin’s rally was the only one in Lorain County listed on the site.
While organizers had a less than
24-hour notice, Sandler said people were talking about it “across the country,” including mentions on Rachel Maddow’s Wednesday night show on MSNBC.
Sandler said a lot of people were looking for events, and she wasn’t surprised by the turnout, citing a committed group of people within the local network.
“I think we all know that Oberlin has a very progressive history, it stands out in the county in a lot of ways,” Sandler said. “We have a very active community here, people are very involved in politics and people really want to take action.
“Obviously our group is called Lorain County Rising; we’re not called Oberlin Rising, we work with folks across the county, we work across districts because we have so many within the county, but I think Oberlin because it has such a strong history of doing things like this.”
Oberlin resident Martha Ferrazza came to the event — one of many protests she said she’s attended since President Donald Trump took office — with a homemade sign emblazoned with “We demand justice, no one is above the law.”
“I made it because Mueller’s investigation is about finding the truth and the facts and if he is stymied by the administration, it’s a miscarriage of justice and it’s an abrogation of the constitutional oath that all of our lawmakers take,” she said.
Noting the switch for the House of Representatives after Tuesday’s elections, Ferrazza said Republicans still control the Senate and said they are doing nothing to protect the investigation or stand up to the president.
“Over and over what we have with this administration is just blatant lying and our lawmakers are doing nothing to correct the truth and it leaves us citizens absolutely hanging.
“So we have to get out there and fight for just the basic truth and it’s over and over and over again,” Ferrazza said.
Contact Carissa Woytach at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.