Millions of American Women Do Not Regret Their Abortions: You Cannot Erase Us

Normally, I just delete the trolly comments that come my way. Today, though, I received a pretty fantastic comment from one Jacqueline Dorman:

Have you ever had an abortion personally? It’s a horrible experience. I have worked with post abortive women for 10 years and they are physically, mentally and emotionally scarred by their “choice”. I’m not so much pro-life as I am pro-woman and I see them after they make their “choice” and 90% of them regret it and wish they would have known how it was going to affect them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.. Every time they hear a baby cry, when their projected due date rolls around every year, when they become pregnant with a “wanted” child. A majority of them suffer from PTSD…you may only see them before the abortion and I can tell you the aftermath is very tragic. You seem to really care about women and I really encourage you to talk to some post abortive women 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years later and see what they have to say now. Let’s push contraception as much as we can because abortion is a choice that no woman should ever have to make.

[Emphasis mine.]

Jacqueline is probably oblivious to the fact that she is making a wonderful argument in favor of increasing Pro-Choice activism. The fact that many people actually wholeheartedly believe that most women who seek an abortion will suffer great psychological harm should serve as a reminder to those of us on this side who support women’s choices; that is, why projects such as My Abortion, My Life are so incredibly vital to preserving our right to terminate a pregnancy for any reason we deem sufficient. The majority of women who speak publicly of their abortion are indeed the women who have decided they regret their choice. Those of us who do not have regrets – the real majority – are very rarely ‘out’ about it, which paves the road for the anti-choice movement to exploit regretful women and erase all the rest. Leading people like Jacqueline to emphatically state with such confidence that of the approximately 50 million  women who have sought legal abortion(s) since 1973, 45 million of them do or will regret their decision.

This is, to put it gently, a vastly flawed conclusion to draw; especially so when you take into account the numerous neutral medical organizations that have long ago debunked this myth.

Says the American Psychological Association:

The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy. […] Across studies, prior mental health emerged as the strongest predictor of postabortion mental health. Many of these same factors also predict negative psychological reactions to other types of stressful life events, including childbirth, and, hence, are not uniquely predictive of psychological responses following abortion.

Interestingly, the APA identifies “Perceptions of stigma” as one of the primary reasons a post-abortive woman may experience negative feelings after her procedure. (See: rabidly angry old men waving fake fetus posters from the sidewalk – I mean, “sidewalk counselors”.) Quoting from the 2009 APA study, “The claim that observed associations between abortion history and a mental health problem are caused by the abortion per se, as opposed to other factors, is not supported by the existing evidence.”

The American Medical Association has reached the same conclusion, and the Guttmacher Institute also has a vast array of sources discrediting this so-called “Post Abortion Syndrome”. Yet, the idea persists.

One of the reasons this myth is so disingenuous and malicious is the fact that women who carry to term are at risk of experiencing harmful mental health conditions such as postpartum depression (PPD). The Center For Disease Control recently found that “According to a recent CDC survey, 11% to 18% of women reported having frequent postpartum depressive symptoms.” So, why do the anti-choicers believe that the silly wommenz need to be protected from only one of their three pregnancy options because it might make them all sad and stuff, but they’re not the least bit concerned with women who actually carry to term only to experience anything from mild depression to actual psychosis? Why aren’t they out there warning women at fertility clinics of the risks of PPD? Or placenta previa? Gestational diabetes? Pre enclampsia? Even death?

The notion that the other side is only “concerned” for the health of women and children falls to pieces after a mere minute of close examination. It’s almost boringly easy to debunk their falsehoods and scare tactics. If their cause was so just, they wouldn’t feel the need to fabricate reasons for supporting it.

Now, my personal response to Jacqueline, which will from here on out be a universal reply to any troll who wanders over to this space to parrot harmful myths:

Dear Anti,

Don’t presume to speak for all women who have chosen abortion – in fact, don’t ever presume to speak for all women, period. Studies – actual, verified, peer reviewed studies – have proven that the most common emotion after an abortion is relief. Women who regret their abortions are a minority. The same cannot be said for women who are pressured, baited and outright lied to by assholes feeding them long ago debunked myths about abortion causing breast cancer, infertility, etc. (nope, not at all, not even a little bit true.), women that carry to term ONLY because they’re scared shitless of abortion, who end up giving the baby they spent fourty weeks of hard labor creating to strangers; strangers who have absolutely zero legal liability to honor ANY aspect of the adoption agreement they worked out with the birth mother.

I suppose you’d rather we return to the good ol’ days when the only options were: parenting a child that was never wanted; seeking an illegal and sometimes deadly abortion; or being hidden away in secret during pregnancy only to have their child taken from them without informed consent and spend the rest of their lives wondering where their child is and how they are doing.

While it is actually TRUE that more women regret adoption than those who regret abortion, unlike you, I advocate for a woman to have a choice, period. Adoption, abortion, parenting – there is no right or wrong choice. Only the women who owns that particular uterus and the contents therein deserves to decide what is right or moral. Not you, and certainly not I.

Which is why the clinic that I volunteer for not only offers abortion, but birth control and pregnancy tests, too; we also work directly with one particular adoption agency that has established itself as a strong advocate for the birth mother and who will inform her of all the legalities of an open or closed adoption, and minimize the chances of regret by giving her the love and support she needs through that process.

Normally, I wouldn’t have taken the time to respond to someone so clearly misinformed – at least, I assume you’re simply misinformed, as I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt here! – but you’re a little different than the usual anti-choice comment er in that you actually support contraceptive use to prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place. So I sure do hope you are investing volunteer time and money in Planned Parenthood, who’ve done more to prevent abortions in this country than ALL so-called “Pro-Life” organizations put together, as they object to contraceptive use entirely.

I have, indeed, had an abortion. Relief was, indeed, the strongest feeling afterwards. I’d rather kill a hundred non-sentient embryos than bring an unwanted child into this world – and NO, adoption was not an option for me. I’ll be damned if I risk health and my very life to create a new person with absolutely no payoff to myself. I can see you spitting “selfish!!” at your screen, and it’s ok. I make no apologies for placing value of myself above that of a zygote, embryo or even fetus when science has proven these life forms can not possibly even BEGIN to be self aware, or feel any pain, before the cerebral cortex is developed enough to receive those signals. It is biologically impossible. I, however, am an actual sentient person who can feel. Pain, love, joy, sadness, and everything else imaginable. I am worth more than coat hangers, rapey back alley (fake) “doctors”, worth more than mere chattel.

I have, indeed, spent time with many women before and after their abortions. That includes patients, of course; but it also includes my friends. One friend just had an abortion a few months ago. She is done raising children, and was not about to start all over again just because the asshole she slept with slipped the condom off. Thankfully, there was somewhere safe for her to go. Another friend had one back in 2003, and has experienced absolutely no regret. Thankfully, she, too had somewhere safe to go. And I have many more stories where that came from.

I don’t doubt that there are women who regret their abortions. However, I will not stand for the amount of these women being completely exaggerated and inflated on my site. You’d sound a lot more reasonable if you just presented the facts, and shared how exactly YOU plan to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies in order to prevent the need for abortion. (Again, see Planned Parenthood.)

Women AND men make major life decisions and later regret it. This is called living life. People regret having children too young, they regret trusting an open adoption only to be burned by adoptive parents who cut off contact despite promises not to, they regret marrying the ‘wrong’ person and having to endure divorce, they regret smoking too many cigarettes and making their teeth yellow, they regret choosing adoption at all even if the adoptive parents do keep their agreement, they regret their major in college, they regret ever having children at all. The idea that the possibility of regret is a reason to paint something as bad, horrible awful always always wrong for EVERY ONE NO MATTER WHAT OMGWTFBBQ is therefore an invalid argument. If we as a society followed this line of thinking to it’s logical conclusion, there would be nothing left for anyone to regret.

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On Being a “Downer”, or Why I Won’t Stop Giving Patriarchy the Finger Just Because You Like Hiding in Your Privilege

So, this is making the rounds on Facebook: For those who think I rant about the patriarchy and misogyny too much, authored by a lady named Julia. While a brutally honest read, it’s frustrating to realize just how many folks actually need this reminder; more maddening than frustrating – downright infuriating – when I realize that Julia almost certainly chose to share only a small fraction of her life experiences with sexism and misogyny. As, undoubtedly, did Glenna; who shared her own post with me on Facebook after being inspired by Julia.

Glenna said to me, “I think this is something every woman should do.” She’s right, of course. We don’t share these stories nearly often enough, not even (or especially not) with our male-identified loved ones. As the picture accompanying this post clearly demonstrates, so many of our men cannot even begin to fathom what it might feel like to simply be female in public.

So here’s a very small taste of that. This is not only for all the men that have ever harassed me, it’s for for all the men that I care about in my life who don’t Get It; most importantly, this is for all the women out there in the interwebz who may read this and feel a little less Alone.

To all the men in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s (and up!) who slowed their cars when they saw (12 year old) me walking down the street to ask “Hey girl, need a ride?” or “Where’s your boyfriend, sweetie?” or “Get in, hun, I’ll take you all the way!”

To the gas station owner who wanted to sell (15 year old) me pills, and offered a discount if I would be “sweet” to him.

To the middle aged, male customers at my first job who were upset at discovering I was only the (15 year old) hostess who gave them a table, not their server for the night; who didn’t believe me when I tried to fend off their advances with a weak line like “Sorry guys, I’m married” because they could see I was “obviously too young to be married!” but not too young for them to tell me they liked my “little tits”.

To all the male teachers in middle school who would tell me how much prettier I’d be if only I would SMILE for them.

TO ALL THE MEN THAT STILL SLOW THEIR CARS TO ASK (28 year old) ME “WHERE’S YOUR MAN, BABY!” WHEN I’M WALKING TO THE FUCKING BUS STOP.

To the guy who (while sitting next to my date, his friend) reached across the table to grab my breast when asking if he could “share” me.

To the guy who was my date, who only laughed at my stunned silence.

To all the male bosses in the food industry who would tell me how much prettier I’d be if only I would SMILE for them.

To the old men in the bars where (22 year old) me used to stop at for an after-work-drink, who would immediately swarm me to tell me I shouldn’t be in a bar by myself because I was such a “pretty young thing”.

To the guy who started talking to me on the street, followed me inside the gas station, then continued to follow me down to the bar I was going to, even though I’d decided I no longer wanted to go to the bar because I was freaked the fuck out but I went anyway, because it was better than letting him follow me to my home, then told me “not to leave without him” when he went to the bathroom. To my boyfriend at the time, who laughed at me when I ran home and called him crying because it took me an hour and a half to get rid of that night’s stalker.

To the older teenage boy who, while attending a party at his house, asked my then-boyfriend permission for he and his friends to “run a train” on me. To the boyfriend who politely said “no thanks” because he “didn’t share”, instead of the more appropriate “fuck off, pig” because since nobody bothered to ask ME for MY permission, it would have been a fucking gang rape.

To the old man a week ago who, upon seeing me walking down the street with a 20 ounce of Pepsi in my hand, began hollering “Where’s my Pepsi, baby?”

To the countless men over all these years who, upon being ignored after shouting “Where’s your man, baby?!”, predictably began to cuss and swear at the “fucking bitch cunt whore dyke frigid lezzy slut” who “thinks she can fucking ignore me, bitch“.

To the old angry white male protester at the clinic where I sometimes volunteer as a patient escort; who, in between shouting slurs and condemnation at all the women who were daring to visit the doctor’s office, told my fellow (male) escort that I am “better to look at” than he.

To one of our most hated favorite regular protesters who was apparently arrested on charges of possessing child pornography last year, suggesting that he cared more about “the children” that women were “killing” than we ever suspected.

To my own father, who always supported and regularly reiterated our societies desire for woman not to be such “bitches”; who cheated on Wife#1 and Wife#2; who spent his paychecks hiring women to fuck him.

To my male (former) friend who said that if women don’t call the (inner city, corrupt, sexist, dangerously volatile)  police after being raped then obviously it wasn’t “really rape”; who also said that if a women he fucks becomes pregnant he should have the legal right to force her to carry to term because it isn’t fair that the person who actually has to do the hard work of creating a baby gets to decide whether or not to create a baby.

To the family member who, after I friended him on Facebook, verbally attacked me on my wall for “posting so much dumb women’s rights shit” and who threatened to “stab me in the uterus” if he ever sees me again.

And again, to the same family member who pelted my aunt with the same violent rhetoric and then some, calling her a “whore” after she stepped in to say “You’re out of line.”

To the male teacher who told (11 year old) me that I would “end up some fat miserable housewife having baby after baby” because I was so bad at math that I gave up on it, instead of recognizing that I needed individual attention in that particular subject while easily acing every other school subject ever put on my desk.

To my old boss at the (painfully politically correct and purposefully diverse so they could brag about it) banking office who still felt entitled to tell me HOW MUCH PRETTIER I’D BE IF ONLY I’D SMILE FOR HIM. FUCK YOU.

To the same boss who, after I decided I was fed up with using smelly and sticky chemicals to paint my face to match the other women in the office and quit wearing the socially expected amount of makeup, constantly told me how “tired” I looked. No, motherfucker, I’m not “tired”, THIS IS MY REAL FACE. Where’s YOUR goddamned lipstick and foundation, huh? Oh, right – your face and body is just fine; mine obviously needs some serious work and it’s your duty to remind me of that… every fucking week.

To the asshole who tried to blackmail me into fucking him by threatening to tell my kind-of-boyfriend at the time that we already did fuck (we didn’t) and that I was a whore, and then carried that threat through as promised.

To the gas station attendant I regularly make small talk with who asked me what I was making for dinner when he found out it was “my mans” day off. Who was genuinely confused when I asked him why he assumed *I* was making dinner.

To the convenient store owner who asked me why I was “allowed” to go to the store by myself after dark. Who was genuinely confused when I pointed out that I am 27 years old, and my deadbeat father was fucking dead anyway.

To the Nice Guy™ that I met at a Mudvayne concert, who seemed to be genuinely interested in having a real conversation, whose company I enjoyed enough to give him my contact information; who then emailed me one day to ask if I’d like to go with him to another concert… who then, after I accepted the offer, emailed me back to say “Hey, I was telling my friend about you! But how big are your tits again? I can’t remember!” and was deadpan-fucking-serious.

To every man on the street, in the grocery store, at the bus stop, at a concert, at the dentists office, and so on (and on, and on…) who stopped me in my tracks and interrupted my daily personal business to tell me to “smile!” for him. I am not your fucking clown, here to amuse you; I am not a fucking Christmas tree, here to brighten your day with pretty colors and sparkles; I am not fucking yours.

To all the men – even the self-professed “liberal dudes” – who will read this, and wonder why it bothers women that we are constantly being told to “smile, baby!” by men everywhere, even strangers.

To all the men that will be wondering why this bitch can’t take a compliment.

To all the men that will think “Gosh, someone doesn’t appreciate being attractive!”

To all the men that would, upon viewing a picture of me, think that I am really “not that great looking, after all” and “quite unremarkable, but probably still meets fuckability standards” and wonder why I don’t just “take what I can get, considering“.

To all those men above, who would be legitimately shocked and horrified if I used this blog post to delve more deeply into the abuse I’ve taken from men in my life; who would be outraged at the way I’ve been grabbed, pinched, groped, had my hair pulled, pushed, followed, choked, raped, slapped, kicked and trapped in small rooms by men whose interaction with me began by just wanting to “take me out” or “compliment” or “take care of” me; who would wonder why I stayed trapped with an abusive boyfriend for three years, who will no doubt try to mainsplain to me how I should have left sooner.

To You Guys: All of you, who will refuse to fucking understand how “Smile, baby!” plays directly into the societal narrative that allows men to excuse their physical, mental and sexual harassment and escalating abuse with “Duh, that’s just the way things are – men can’t help themselves, don’cha know!”

Yeah, guys. We’re fucking tired of it. Apologies if our intolerance of your intolerance makes your privilege a bit uncomfortable. Next time you roll your window down to shout at a woman who dares to walk down the street in public, because you think you like her legs: Stop and think instead about how many times that woman has been followed by creeps after they yelled the same shit that you’ve got sitting on the tip of your tongue.

Then, go home, get online, and Shut The Fuck Up and Listen.

Activism, yay! Ohio’s October/November Event Round-Up

November 23

Women’s Group – Occupy Cleveland Outreach
When? 8:00pm
Where? Tower 230230 W. Huron, Cleveland, OH
What? We aim to create a safe space for woman-identified individuals to discuss ideas and goals on how Occupy Cleveland can incorporate events/direct actions to better demonstrate the movement’s solidarity with women in their struggles. Come on down, share a bite/drink/idea. We look forward to networking with other Cleveland women! Please share with your friends and family.
RSVP? On Facebook

November 30

Appreciation Night for the Friends of Nickie J. Antonio
When? 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Where? Latitude 41n, 5712 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH
What? Appetizers, beer, wine, door prizes! This is a free event* to volunteers, donors, and friends of the campaign. See the RSVP page for Host Committee list. *donations are optional, remember Ohio State income tax forms allow a political contribution as a tax credit for individuals up to $50 and married couples filing jointly can claim up to a $100 credit. If you are able to help with a more generous contribution, of course, that would certainly be appreciated.
RSVP? On Facebook

Move to Amend Cleveland Meeting
When? 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? Peace House , 10916 Magnolia Dr., Cleveland, OH
What? The meeting will start with a 40 minute film, CorpOrNation: the History of Citizens and Corporations in Ohio. Major meeting agenda items include organizing: 1. “Occupy the Courts” 1 day action at the federal court in Cleveland on January 20, 2012 (2 yr anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision) 2. Campaign to pass a resolution in Cleveland and other area communities to abolish never-intended corporate constitutional rights and money is speech. 3. Film series on corporate power/corporate rights. All are welcome!
RSVP? On Facebook

Protest At The Y.O.U.N.G. Expo
When? 8:00am – 2:30pm
Where? Multiple locations, Youngstown, OH
What? Join No Frack Ohio in a day of protest, learning, and building relationships for action! Start at the First Unitarian Universialist Church for coffee, muffins and networking at 8:00am; ending with a march from the church to to Covelli Center for protest, then on to the Square for rally. Please see No Frack Ohio for full event details!
RSVP? Here!

Ongoing

Join Occupy Cleveland
When? October 6th – ?
Where? Tom Johnson Quadrant of Public Square
What? Still going strong, despite the arrests on Friday, October 22Various working groups that have been formed will facilitate daily General Assembly meetings at 6pm, as well as direct actions, performances and other activities. Please see the Daily Digest (updated as of Oct. 27) for information on various education opportunities from the Working Groups ranging from sexual assault concerns to art to civil disobedience and direct action.
RSVP? On Facebook

Repeal Senate Bill 5 – VICTORY! 
What? Distribute Absentee Ballot Request Applications because these forms will NOT be mailed to voters automatically this year; Canvass or Phone Bank to converse with the community about the importance of voting NO on Issue 2 in order to STOP SB5.
Contact? Fight For A Fair Economy or We Are Ohio

October 28 through November 4th

Precision Security Food Drive
When? Drop off donations Monday – Friday, 10:00pm – 4:00pm
Where? 13705 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, OH
What? PS is collecting non-perishable food items for their winter Food Drive. Please donate anything you can. Cereal, soup, canned veggies, beans, etc.
RSVP? None!

October 28

Cleveland Critical Mass Halloween Ride
When? 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Where? Public Square, Cleveland, OH
What? Cleveland Critical Mass is a local grassroots initiative to promote bicycling as a means of transportation and recreation, assert bicyclists’ rights to the road, build and foster community, and have fun.  In concert with over 300 cities internationally, Critical Mass group bicycle rides originating from Downtown Cleveland take place on the last Friday of every month. The October ride has taken on the tradition of becoming a costumed stroll around town, and this year will be no different. So dress up however you’d like (or not). Noodlecat will be hosting a Halloween and end-of-the-season party for CCM following the ride. Occupy Cleveland will be joining!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 29

Occupy Cleveland Visits Lakewood
When? 8:00am – 5:00pm
Where? Marc’s Plaza, Detroit Ave., Lakewood, OH
What? There will be about six or seven members of Occupy Cleveland at the table Saturday. The activists hope to reach out to the Lakewood community to encourage dialogue and participation in the movement. All are welcome.
RSVP? None. Just come on down!

AFL-CIO ‘No on Issue 2/SB’ Rally
When? 10:00am – 3:00pm
Where? Union Hall, 3250 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH
What? Speaker: International President of American Federation of Teachers. Occupy Cleveland will be joining. Labor Canvass/Phone Bank afterwards.
RSVP? None. Just come on down!

The Women of Imperial Ave. Candlelight Vigil
When? 5:15pm
Where? Next to serial killer Anthony Sowell’s home, at 12205 Imperial Ave., Cleveland, OH
What? The rally and candlelight vigil, to mark the second anniversary of the murders of 11 Black women on Cleveland’s Imperial Ave., will open with a prayer for the betterment of women by Jean Whitte, a member of the Imperial Women and Black on Black CrimeOccupy Cleveland will also be standing in solidarity. Please lend your support and your heart for this important rememberance.
RSVP? None. Just come on down!

Anthony Fossaceca ‘NO on Issue 2’ Canvass
When? 9:30am – 2:00pm
Where? Panera Bread, 6130 Kruse Drive, Solon, OH
What? Help us kickoff the final 10 days of campaign 2012 with the most intense, fun, energized, mobilized canvass against SB5 in modern times. It will be easy. It will be fun. And it will be worth the time and effort. All we need is YOU. Because SB5 affects YOU. Meet for coffee, donuts, and clipboards. We canvass for a few hours, then meet back up at Panera for some hot food, cold drinks, and fiery speeches to recap and celebrate our efforts.
If you like your house not burning to the ground, you should be there.
If you like not having mayhem in the streets, you should be there.
If you like kids on your block knowing how to read, you should be there.
RSVP? On Facebook

October 30

Occupy The Hood Cleveland Presents ‘Village Soup’
When? 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Where? 11239 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH
What? Come join us and put the UNITY back in CommUNITY by addressing the issues disproportionately affecting People of Color and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD to help bring forth viable solutions; and Enjoy Delicious Soup and other activities! Bring something to put in our pot of soup if you desire. (Sponsored By the Audacity Of Hope Foundation)
RSVP? On Facebook

Occupy Cleveland Planning and Organizational Meeting
When? 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Where? Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
What? We are looking to expand our operations and get bigger action going, and for that to happen we need more people involved, and more help with our planning and process. That means YOU! If you support the cause, you don’t need to camp, but helping plan events, reach out to communities, and organize rallies is so important. If you have experience with this sort of event planning , you will be vital. If you don’t, but just want to help, there is so much our occupiers need on a daily basis, and this meeting will help you put your every-day skills to great use for #OccupyCleveland!
RSVP? None. Just come on down!

Occupy Columbus ‘Inside Job’ Screening
When? 3:00pm – 5:30pm
Where? Victory’s Pizza and Grub, 543 S. High Street, Columbus, OH
What? Screening of the movie “Inside Job”, which details many of the events and policy decisions that led to the 2008 recession. It’s a very eye-opening film about what all is going on with Wall St. and the government, and we encourage everyone to go see it. Following the movie there will be time for discussion. Hope to see everyone there!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 31

Occupy Cleveland Halloween Event: ScareCorps Scarecrows
When? 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Where? Tom Johnson Quadrant of Public Square
What? Have fun making ScareCorps scarecrows for a 5pm Halloween display. The scarecrows are commentary regarding the ease of overnight assembly in Public Square. It is our innate right to assemble and solve problems comfortably in a long term manner on our land. We need enough straw, burlap, twine, paint for faces, etc. to make twenty “ScareCorps” to lay as sleeping figures around the quadrant. We’ll write a corporation’s name on each “sleeping” ScareCorps. We can use things like old pillowcases with blown up balloons inside for heads and burlap and cloth for torsoes. Arms and legs optional, depending on creative whim! We need all the hands we can get. And it’ll be fun!
RSVP? None. Just come on down!

November 4

Stand for the Dream Action
When? 12:00pm
Where? Chase Bank, 1300 E. 9th St, Cleveland, OH
What? Come join the MoveOn.org action to protest the malpractices of the big banks and their continuing negative impact on our economy. Meet on the sidewalk in front of the bank. Feel free to bring signs!
RSVP? Here

November 5

Ohio Street Protest For Gay Marriage!
When? 11:00am – 6:00pm
Where? Fountain Square, 520 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH
What? Protest three days before voting day in Cincinnati, OH. Bring signs and show your pride and support!  For this to work we will need a large amount of Protesters! ORGANIZATIONS: Equality OhioReformed Catholic ChurchSPEAKER: Chris Seelbach
RSVP? On Facebook

Cleveland – Get Out The Vote On Issue 2
When? 9:00am – 9:00pm, varying shifts
Where? Firehouse, 1455 W 29th St., Cleveland, OH 44113
What? 1.3 million signatures agree with us—and now is the time to get out the vote for No on Issue 2. We need to tell every single voter what’s at stake when they go to cast their ballot, and to stand with Ohio’s workers and vote no on this devastating legislation. We’ll be canvassing in your neighborhood to make sure our neighbors know the truth, but we could use your help. Stand with us and every worker in Ohio and join us for one canvassing shift. OFA Ohio organizers will train you to knock on the doors, and we’ll send you to get the word out. Bring a friend so you can go knock together and get out the vote.
RSVP? Here

ISO-CLE & Occupy Cleveland Canvass Against Issue 2
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? AFL-CIO Office, 3250 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH
What? The ISO of Cleveland is organizing a carpool from Public Square to the AFL-CIO office 5:30 PM, but there are opportunities to canvass throughout the day (@ 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, and 6PM). No experience is necessary, and the AFL-CIO will be providing an extensive training beforehand.
RSVP? On Facebook

Bank Transfer Day
When? Whenever your bank opens on Saturdays!
Where? Everywhere!
What? Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will always remember the 5th of November. If we shift our funds from the for-profit banking institutions in favor of not-for-profit credit unions before this date, we will send a clear message that conscious consumers won’t support companies with unethical business practices. It’s time to invest in local community growth! (WHEOhio note: In recognition of the fact that not all of us can qualify for credit union accounts, please note Dollar Bank, a great local community bank that invests in Ohio’s small businesses! Another alternative is Netspend, which can accessed online and provides direct deposit and visa debit card just like community banks, as well as a small grace for overdrafts – meaning NO FEE. I’ve personally used Netspend and hold them in very high regard!)
RSVP? On Facebook

November 6

Occupy Cleveland One Month Anniversary Get-Together
When? 2:00pm – 10:00pm
Where? Willard Park & Public Square
What? We will be celebrating our one month anniversary with an opportunity to be a little less political, and a little more social. Forge bonds, and make friends to help us through the winter and find common ground for common action. We will meet at the Free Stamp beginning at 2PM, and at 5PM we will march to public square, where we will remain until 10PM. Come down and have a good time!
RSVP? On Facebook

November 7

Working America Phone Bank: Reject Issue 2/SB5
When? TBA
Where? TBA
What? Call constituents to remind them that election day is November 8th; discuss the ramifications of Issue 2 and encourage NO votes. If you’ve never phonebanked before, DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED! It is easy, it’s fun, and very rewarding!
RSVP? Call 216-781-3032 for information on how you can participate.

November 11

‘We Aren’t the Number Ones’ Fest!
When? 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Where? Bella Dubby, 13321 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107
What? Benefit show for Occupy Cleveland Camp. We’re taking anything to help the movement and further the conversation: money, tents, sleeping bags, and/or general interest. Featuring:
Kill The Hippies, Dead Peasant Insurance, Attention Deficit Glee Club, Excremente (W/Morte Treehorn and Poopy Nero)
RSVP? On Facebook

Veterans/Armistice Day March for DEMOCRACY! 
When? 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Where? Levis Square, Toledo, OH
What? Occupy Toledo invites all of Toledo to a March and Rally in honor of all Veterans, and all those currently in active duty in the Military. We ask that all Veterans, Veterans for Peace, and any other Military organizations in support of the global Occupations come out, and join us in solidarity. We will gather at Levis Square in downtown Toledo, and then march up Madison to Michigan St. to the courthouse, across the courthouse lawn towards One Government Center down Jackson to St. Clair, and then back to Levis Square for a rally. Please see RSVP page for speaker list as it is extensive.
This march is in Solidarity with this global day of Occupation, and protest.
RSVP? On Facebook

Veterans Day Celebration
When? 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Where? Twist, 11633 Clifton Blvd, Cleveland, OH
What? Come hang out with NEOAVER at Twist on Veterans Day! Say thanks to everyone who served. CIVILIANS are welcome too of course! Of everyone who is old enough to serve, us veterans are only “12%” — we’ld be LOST without all of the civilian allies who lobby and fight for us! We want to thank you for YOUR support as much as any of you want to thank us.
RSVP? On Facebook

November 12 & November 13

Occupy Public Square! Numerous Event Detail
When?
Saturday:
• 12:00pm Gather to begin creating art for 4:00pm direct action.
• 1:00pm Speakers TBA.
• 2:00pm Music by Johnathan Blackshire and Loki.
• 3:00pm March; fun times and no risk.
• 4:00pm Direct Action; Nonviolent and FUN direct action to re-occupy our shared public space which should not be a cause for concern, BUT there is a potential CIVIL DISOBEDENCE/ARREST RISK, so please evaluate this for yourself. Action will be: “Cleveland Occupies the Banks”
-There will be stencils and supplies to create and decorate headbands
-Bring clothing to stencil and decorate
– OccupyCleveland T-shirt to be given away to best Monopoly guy costume (we’ll be doing some red and green houses to match)
-No tents, we’re building HOUSES (to be carried/worn)
-Please visit Occupy Cleveland for event needs!
This action is designed as a creative way to highlight the issues surrounding foreclosure in our communities. All houses are being created as pieces of art, designed to be mobile (not structural). These pieces of art will be set up with the intention of moving if we are ‘foreclosed on’. We are not intending to create or escalate high-arrest-risk situations. Please, if you are planning on participating in the direct action, understand this but that there might be risk of arrest and let us know HERE.
Where? Public Square, Tom Johnson Free Speech (NW) quadrant
What? General Description: Our goal is to gather upon Public Square in protest of the domination of the 1% that controls economic and political power.  Cleveland is being TORN APART BY FORECLOSURE and we say NO!  So we’re going to build a city and go occupy the very banks that are occupying our city. If you support the Occupy Cleveland ideals of individual empowerment, economic justice, political freedom, and nonviolence, now is the time. Join us on Public Square, northwest quadrant, this Saturday… and rolling right into Sunday. The Occupation will be there. Will you be a part of it?
RSVP? Here!

November 12

All-Ohio Occupation Rally & Conference
When? 10:00am – 11:00pm
Where? Bicentennial Riverfront Park, Columbus, OH
What? All-day casual conference and outreach for every occupation movement in Ohio to come together!
RSVP? On Facebook

Occupy Mansfield November 12th, 2011
When? 11:00am – ?
Where? Central Park, Mansfield, OH
What? We will gather near the MLK memorial to protest corporate greed and social inequities in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the global movement. Bring signs, fliers will be available to handout. Free hot coffee will be available at the Coffee Cup Inn at 574 Park Avenue East until 1pm.Sidewalk chalk is needed & fun! Kid-friendly protest as long as parent/guardian is present. We will have a chili tasting dinner at 4pm! Please bring your favorite chili to share as well as dinnerware! At 6pm we will hold a candle light vigil for those worldwide peaceful occupiers who are being murdered for protesting, please bring candles if you can. Bring a tent and learn how to peacefully practice civil disobedience in solidarity with the worldwide occupation. The occupation will end when the last occupier leaves the park…..
RSVP? On Facebook

November 13

Midlothian Free Health Clinic: Brunch Fundraiser
When? 11:00am – 3:00pm
Where? The Lemon Grove Café, 122 W. Federal Plaza, Youngstown, OH
What? Join us for a delicious brunch at the Lemon Grove and enjoy Jim Dudash (pianist with the Rainbow Tribe/Tribe of Two) and Performance Artist Brandon Martin (Dr. Goo). Basket raffle will take place, too. Cost: $15
RSVP? On Facebook

November 15

Produce for People
When? 10:00am – 2:00pm
Where? ATGC, 3210 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio
What? The Aids Taskforce of Greater Cleveland is collaborating with our friends at The Cleveland Foodbank for three, count ’em, THREE produce distributions this winter. Our first will be on November 15th from 10am-2pm. This is open to the public. Additional event dates are December 13th and January 10th from 10am-2pm. All questions should be directed to Leon Hall, ATGC Director of Operations at 216-621-0766 ext. 227 or lhall@atfgc.org
RSVP? On Facebook

Pay it Forward Tuesday
When? 11:30am – 12:00am
Where? Jammy Buggers, 15625 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, OH
What? Every Tuesday at Jammy Buggers, fifteen percent of your bill goes to the charity of the week! This Tuesday, 15% will be donated to The Aids Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. Just mention AIDS Taskforce to your server or bartender.
RSVP? On Facebook

November 16

Cash Mob: Support Local Business!
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? Lincoln Park, W 11th and Starkweather, Cleveland, OH
What? ‘Cash Mobs’ is a Cleveland-based flash mob that supports local businesses. It’s simple: a bunch of us get together, “target” a store that is locally owned and does good work in the community, then spend $20 or so at that store. We get the satisfaction of supporting a local business and we get something in return. Simple as that. For the first one, we’ll meet in Lincoln Park at the corner of W. 11th and Starkweather at 6 p.m. We already have a business picked out, and the owner knows we’re coming. Look for the guy in the penguin hat when you get there. For more information visit the blog or follow us on Twitter @cashmobs !
RSVP? On Facebook

Women’s Health Forum
When? 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Where? Bainbridge Town Hall, 13600 Chillicothe Rd, Chagrin Falls, OH
What? Free town hall forum focusing on womens health issues; how the passage of Issue 3 will affect women & families; recent limiting abortion legislation and efffects on women; how you can help yourself and your families & much more! Judge Mary Jane Trapp will moderate. Panelists include Kellie Copeland (NARAL) Denise Gastesi (Progress Ohio) Lauren Harmon (Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus)
RSVP? On Facebook or Here!

OHLA Saves Birth Control!
When? 9:00am – 2:00pm
Where? Kilcawley Center, Youngstown State University, 1 University Plaza, Youngstown, OH
What? The Ohio Lady Advocates will be setting up shop on the first floor of Kilcawley Center (in front of ComDoc) on the YSU campus to raise awareness about the pressure being put on the White House to implement a “refusal clause” that would exclude certain religiously-affiliated employers (universities, hospitals, students at religious universities) from covering birth control. This is a move that, if accepted by the White House, will impact millions of women and families. OHLA will be encouraging students, faculty, and staff to call or text the White House to show support for the inclusion of ALL employees’ birth control in the Affordable Care Act.
RSVP? On Facebook

November 17

Collective Upcycle Opening Party
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? 13226 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH
What? Upcycling is a kind of personal activism. It is a way of consuming and creating that relies on what is already available, as opposed to buying more stuff. The Collective Upcycle boutique will be open Thurs. – Sun., 11/17 – 12/24. It is a temporary pop-up shop – making use of a vacant shop space in Shaker Square. It provides a venue for artists, and upcycling fashionistas, to share our ideas and decorative art with others. Come join in as we make merry from our brand new spot in Shaker Square, the HQ of our pop-up Holiday Boutique! November 17th is our holiday pop-up grand opening.
RSVP? On Facebook

We Are the 99%
When? 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Where? Public Square, Cleveland, OH
What? Moveon.org will join the Occupy Cleveland movement for about an hour to demonstrate our solidarity with them. Bring signs that say things like “Federal funding for infrastructure to create jobs!” “Develop alternative energy sources to create jobs!” Message from host: If you can bring food or anything you think the occupiers could use that would be great. MoveOn’s primary message for the day is “Where are the federal and state dollars to fix our infrastructure and create jobs” They are keeping the money and not spending it. Please join us!. Thank you
RSVP? Here!

Signs Against Corruption (SAC) Meeting
When? 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Where? Gypsy Bean Cafe, 6425 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH
What? We will be gathering in the back room of Gypsy (locally owned mom-n-pop coffee house with vegetarian food options) to make new signs for the movement. Please bring any supplies you feel would be helpful. I will bring cardboard and a set of markers! Be ready to have the BEST cup of coffee or Latte in Cleveland and enjoy using art to bust corruption in our system!
RSVP? On Facebook

November 18

Over-Criminalization of Youth: Causes & Collateral Impact on Homelessness
When? 8:30am – 2:15pm
Where? Max Wohl Civil Liberties Center, 4506 Chester Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
What? Join the ACLU of Ohio and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for a seminar examining the collateral consequences youth following contact with the juvenile justice system. (4.0 FREE CLE available. 4.0 social work CEU credits will be offered, pending approval.)
RSVP? Here

Occupy the Hood Cleveland “Foreclosure Focus!” Workshop
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? 11239 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH
What? Corporate Greed in America has continuously attacked hundreds of people in our communities, causing them to lose their hopes due to the practice of Fraudulent Foreclosures. Find out how many have suffered from this degrading practice and how to fight back and stay in hour home. DO NOT BE A VICTIM TO THIS DEGRADING PRACTICE BY THE BANKS. Our speakers for this much needed workshop will include:
George Friday – Bill of Rights Defense Committee
David and Marva Patterson, Homeowners
Latefah Shampine, Experienced the Abuse of the Foreclosure Process
RSVP? On Facebook

Transgender Day of Remembrance
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? The Free Stamp, E 9th & Lakeside, Cleveland, OH
What? The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held annually as a memorial to trans-identified and gender variant individuals who are murdered each year due to hate, transphobia and our strict adherence to the gender binary. This event aims to raise awareness and educate the larger community in order to effect change in this horrifying trend. We will hold a candlelight vigil as a memorial for those we have lost. We will continue at Cleveland City Hall, where we will hear from local leaders about ways in which they and the community at large can get engaged in the movement for change. Following the program, people are invited to congregate at Bounce/Union Station in order to network, socialize, and celebrate how far we have come as a community.
RSVP? On Facebook

Genderbloc Genderf*ck DRAG SHOW
When? 9:00pm – 12:00am
Where? Catskeller, 1st Fl Tangeman Uni. Center, 2600 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH
What? It’s that time of year again! Come one, come all Genderbloc’s Fall Genderf*ck Drag Show honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance. There will be a raffle with sexy prizes! The Drag Show is FREE to the public, but we will be accepting donations which will benefit both TransOhio and Genderbloc. See all your favorite performers as well as a few new ones. Make sure to get there early, because Catskeller will fill up fast! Challenge gender roles by f*cking them up!
RSVP? On Facebook


Activism, YAY! Ohio’s October Event Round-up

This is just the beginning of the October list. Please notify me of any events in the coming month so I can add!

*UPDATED as of 10/7/11*

October 1

Southeast Ohio Solidarity Rally
When? 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Where? Gallia County Junior Fairgrounds, 189 Jackson Pike, Gallipolis, OH
What? SERIOUS ACTIVISM AND FUN! Visit the booths of area unions and learn what your brothers and sisters in solidarity are doing to win the fight. Network and sign up to volunteer if you haven’t already done so. KID ZONE: Teachers from Southeast Ohio Education Association along with Ohio University students will have games, crafts, face painting, balloon sculpture, inflatables and more. FOOD AND DRINK: Provided by area Democrats and Republicans working together to fight SB5. LIVE MUSIC: The Boys of the Hock, The Magic Mama Band, The Cincinnati Emerald Society Police & Fire Pipes & Drums. SPEAKERS: Sherrod Brown, Jennifer Brunner, Ted Strickland, Pam Smith, and MORE!
Call 740-637-8198 to reserve your organization’s free booth. (Booths are assigned first come, first serve. There are a limited number still available.)
RSVP? On Facebook

October 2

First Annual Non-Violence Parade and Rally
When? 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Where? Lincoln Ave., Youngstown, OH
What? Ohio Lady Advocates will be participating in Youngstown’s first ever Non-Violence parade in celebration of Non-Violence Week (Oct. 2-8). The parade is open to all nonprofit organizations such as youth groups, athletic teams, church groups, neighborhood watch groups as well as businesses and government officials and politicians. We will start on Lincoln Ave. in front of the new YSU business school and proceed downtown. March with us in the parade and shout with us at the rally to help us wipe out violence!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 3

Akron LGBTU Special Event: You Should Meet My Son!
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? Student Union Theater
What? We’re going to be showing the movie “You Should Meet My Son!” It’s safe to say that it’ll truly be a movie to remember. The idea is fairly simple: a conservative mother is horrified to find out that her only son is gay. However, determined to make sure her son doesn’t live his life alone, she sets out to find him the perfect husband. The movie will be followed by a discussion. So we can talk about how super-mega-funny-awesome-cool it was, obviously. :) We hope to see as many of you there as can come. Let’s fill up that theater!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 5

GLASA’s Drag Show
When? 4:30pm – 8:00pm
Where? Cleveland State University’s Main Classroom Auditorium
What? The Drag Race this year will be hosted by Stone LeBeau and Rosario Garcia. The admission price is free with donations for GLASA welcome and to perform the price is 5$ before 9/29/2011 and 10$ up to 10/05/2011 after the 29th of September. In addition to the large prize of an iPod for contestants, there will also be a few opportunities for audience members to compete for smaller prizes such as gift cards to some amazing restaurants!
IF you are planning on participating please email and let them know your song and when you can pay.
RSVP? On Facebook and email IF PERFORMING at cleveland.state.glasa@gmail.com

October 5

#Occupy Cleveland
When? 12:00pm – Ongoing until December 31 – Please see below under “Ongoing”
Where? Willard Park Cleveland, OH
What? The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America. It’s time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY! Our nation, our species and our world are in crisis. The US has an important role to play in the solution, but we can no longer afford to let corporate greed and corrupt politics set the policies if our nation. More info about the protests around the globe, and what’s happening on Wall Street.
RSVP? On Facebook

October 7

LGBT Safe Zone Ally Training – By Alexis Melville & Kim Langrehr
When? 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Where? Rm. 316, Student Union, The University of Akron
What? Make your office/cubical/desk a safe zone and learn about the LGBT community. IMPORTANT: Anyone interested in attending must e-mail Dr. Hayden at ehayden@uakron.edu to register. RSVP as this training session is limited to 25.
RSVP? Email ehayden@uakron.edu AND On Facebook (You MUST email!)

October 11

NEOAVER Meeting – National Veterans Coming Out Day
When? 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? Twist Social Club, 11633 Clifton Blvd, Cleveland, OH
What? Since 2005, AVER has been celebrating NVCOD – National Veterans Coming Out Day on 11 October. Do your veteran friends know you’re queer? Do your queer friends know you’re a veteran? And now for the first time … it’s legal for our brothers and sisters in arms, who we pray will also become veterans, to come out while they are still in service. Come celebrate this landmark occasion with us!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 11

NCOD Open Mic with ZPN
When? 9:00am – 2:00pm
Where? Starbucks Lounge at University of Akron Student Union
What? We’re working with ZPN to host an open mic event for National Coming Out Day. You can sing, dance, recite poetry, OR…if you don’t want to perform at all, we have cards with facts about National Coming Out Day on them. If you can read, we want YOU! The open mic will take place in the Starbucks Lounge in the Student Union from 9 AM to 2 PM. I know that’s early, but hopefully you can still at least come and sit for a spell.
RSVP? On Facebook

October 12

Jobs Not Cuts: Week of Action Event by MoveOn
When? 12:00pm
Where? “Free Stamp” next to City Hall, E. 9th St. & Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH
What? The event will gather at the “Free Stamp” and then march across the street to the building which houses Senator Portman’s office. We will march and chant with signs for about one hour on East 9th St. to gain attention to Jobs not Cuts and to bring to people’s attention how much Senator Portman is worth and how much he pays in taxes.
RSVP? On Moveon.org

October 14

Fundraiser Wing Ding For Molly Kuhlenschmidt 
When? 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? Scoundrels, 826 Front Street, Berea, OH
What? Molly Kuhlenschmidt is two years old and was diagnosed with Leukemia a little over a month ago. Since then, Molly has had surgery, chemo and multiple hospital stays. TICKETS: $25 Includes beer, well-drinks, pizza, wings, rigatoni and salad. 50/50 Raffles and Raffles for baskets with great items inside! If you can’t make the event to help support this family, please consider making a donation. CHECKS CAN BE MADE OUT TO MOLLY OR MEGAN KUHLENSCHMIDT and can be given to Danielle, Rennee or directly to the family. YOU CAN ALSO MAKE A DONATION THROUGH PAYPAL UNDER: mollynoelle@sbcglobal.net
RSVP? On Facebook

October 14

Cleveland Tar Sands Action
When? 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Where? Shaker Square Organizing for America office, 13100 Shaker Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio
What? The Oil Extraction Industry fiercely wants to open up an additional pipeline, called the Keystone XL pipeline, from the Alberta Tar Sands project in Canada through Montana and several other states to reach Texas for processing and export. From August 20th to September 3rd, 1253 people were arrested in front of the White House in protest of this dirty, destructive, and dangerous project. Signing the permit is directly under President Obama’s control, and he has stated that he wants to make a decision by the end of 2011. We are continuing to send him the message all over the country that destroying the environment and displacing native peoples, in this case in the form of Tar Sands oil and the Keystone XL pipeline, is unacceptable for any reason. We will be combining with protesters in Columbus and Cincinnati to have coordinated protests on October 15 in order to continue pressing this issue at President Obama’s campaign offices.
RSVP? On Facebook

October 20

Akron LGBTU: Teaching Tolerance with Akron PFLAG
When? 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Where? North Springfield Presbyterian Church, 671 North Canton Road, Akron, Ohio
What? Featuring “Bullied” which, if you missed the event made for the meeting on the 11th, tells the story of Jamie Nabozny, a boy who fought in the courts for his rights, making a landmark case in which the court held the school responsible for preventing the victimization of students regardless of sexuality or gender identity/expression. A discussion will follow the screening of the movie, and it’ll be a chance to get in touch with members of the local PFLAG chapter. Which can only be a good thing, especially if you’d like to give your own family members or close friends information about PFLAG or anything like that.
RSVP? On Facebook

October 21

2nd Annual Purple Light Night Walk
When? 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where? 1400 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH
What? This Walk offers support to families, friends and individuals impacted by Domestic Violence. We encourage you to come, bring a friend and wear PURPLE, the national color of domestic violence, to show your support of Purple Light Nights. WALK DETAILS: Walk begins at W. 25th Street & Detroit and ends at W. 9th Street & Superior. Upon reaching W. 9th Street, there will be a purple balloon release in honor of domestic violence victims.
RSVP? On Facebook

October 22

Akron LGBTU Dine & Dance For Equality
When? 10:00pm – 2:30am
Where? Dine at Diamond Deli, 378 S Main St., Akron, OH Dance At Square, 820 W. Market St, Akron, OH
What? OPEN TO ALL!! Allies and LGBT community members, come and join with the students’ of the University of Akron’s LGBTU as we dine and dance the night away in support of equality!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 27

Making Space to Talk About Abortion, Faith, and Religion: Preterm, MAML, Faith Aloud
When? 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where? Preterm, 12000  Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH
What? The executive director for Faith Aloud, a compelling religious voice for Reproductive Justice, Rev. Turner will speak about abortion as a moral decision and how Pro-Choice people can address religious/spiritual issues in abortion conversations and create safe spaces for these conversations. Rev. Turner’s audience includes faith leaders, members of faith communities, and reproductive justice advocates interested in the spiritual dimensions of their work, as well as those who may have stepped back from religion because of the negative messages about abortion.
RSVP? On Facebook and you MUST ALSO EMAIL Linda@myabortionmylife.org

October 27

OHLA‘s H”OHLA”-ween Fundraiser
When? 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Where? Unitarian Universalist Church, 1105 Elm. St., Youngstown, OH
What? Join the Ohio Lady Advocates for our first FUNdraiser and H”OHLA”-ween extravaganza! We’ll have a great time with delicious food and drink, crazy costumes, and marvelous music. Tickets are $5 for Students – $8 pre-order – $10 at the door. All proceeds go towards the Ohio Lady Advocates: for healthy women, families, and communities. Come celebrate with us so we can continue fighting real things that nightmares are made of.
RSVP? On Facebook, email ohioladyadvocates@gmail.com

October 27

Justice Rocks: Live Music from Austin Walkin Cane/Last Call/oldboy
When? 6:00pm – 2:00am
Where? Around The Corner, 18616 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH
What? Halloween Guest Bartending Event! We’re bringing it back to the West Side of town. Be sure not to miss this event with 25 bartenders behind the bar at Around the Corner. We figured its so close to Halloween lets dress up. (Dressing up is optional but a special surprise for those in costume) Doors will open at 6pm and we will have pizza and dessert once again until it runs out. Christmas Ale will be made available for purchase until it runs out. The talented band line up will start at 7pm with Austin Walker Cain, Last Call, and Oldboy. If you’ve not seen these performers you’re in for a treat. They are all amazingly talented! Greater Cleveland Community Shares raises funds for our 42 Social Justice Organizations in Northeast Ohio. We appreciate all the support the cost of this event is only $10. Purchase tickets at http://www.communityshares.org
RSVP? On Facebook

November 5

Ohio Street Protest For Gay Marriage!
When? 11:00am – 6:00pm
Where? Fountain Square, 520 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH
What? Protest three days before voting day in Cincinnati, OH. Bring signs and show your pride and support!  For this to work we will need a large amount of Protesters! ORGANIZATIONS: Equality Ohio, Reformed Catholic Church. SPEAKER: Chris Seelbach
RSVP? On Facebook

Ongoing

Join Occupy Cleveland
When? October 6th – ?
Where? Lakeside & E. 9th, Cleveland, OH
What? Clevelanders will act in solidarity with the current Occupy Wall Street movement taking place in NYC and across the nation beginning on Thursday, October 6th at noon in Willard Park (under the Free Stamp). That afternoon they will march to their final occupation destination where protestors will set up their community camp and maintain an occupation indefinitely. Various working groups that have been formed will facilitate daily General Assembly meetings, direct actions, performances and other various activities. The event is free and open to the public. Willard Park is located at the corners of Lakeside and E. 9th next to the courthouse. Look for the Free Stamp!
RSVP? On Facebook

Repeal Senate Bill 5
What? Register new voters; Distribute Absentee Ballot Request Applications because these forms will NOT be mailed to voters automatically this year; Canvass or Phone Bank to converse with the community about the importance of voting NO on Issue 2 in order to STOP SB5.
Contact? Fight For A Fair Economy or We Are Ohio

Stop House Bill 194, The Voter Suppression Law
What? HB194 would severely limit early voting by mail, prohibit poll workers from assisting voters in completing forms, and make it more difficult for early voters to access in-person locations during evening hours and Sundays. We are currently collecting petition signatures to get a citizen’s VETO onto the 2012 ballot, and the deadline to STOP this law from affecting the 2011 elections is September 28. **UPDATE: We have collected 316,460 signatures. Therefore we have 10 more days past the previous deadline of 9/28 to collection more. KEEP COLLECTING. Remember, some signatures WILL be invalid. That’s the nature of petitions. WE NEED MORE.**
Contact? Fair Elections Ohio for a signing event in your area or to collect signatures yourself.

Activism, YAY! What YOU Can Do This Month In Ohio

The following is a list of various on-the-ground activities* that you and your fellow activists can join to make a difference in the month of September. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the Planned Parenthood rally passing out awesome pink t-shirts, and I’ll have a “We’ve Had Enough!” sign for anyone that would like to add their picture to our Facebook album. Please sign up, pass around, and hopefully I’ll see you there!

*If you know of an event that is not on this list, please comment and let me know so I can add it. The events are centered in Cleveland and Columbus, and I just know that there must be more in other areas I haven’t heard about; I’d like this blog to center on statewide events and issues rather than only those near my own residence. Suggestions for October are also welcome, as I’d like to make a similar list at the beginning of the month.

September 17

Raise Your Hand Rally 2011: Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio
When? 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Where? Cleveland Health Center, 7997 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
What? Join Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio and our supporters September 17, 2011 for the Raise Your Hand Rally at the Planned Parenthood Cleveland Health Center. Students, supporters, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America president, Cecile Richards, will all be speaking at the event; as well as Nicke J. Antonio. They will address the countless attacks on reproductive justice and families in Ohio and why they “raise their hand” in support of Planned Parenthood and their services. (Nickie J. Antonio will also be having an informal meeting before the rally, for location and time please email me: weheohio[at]gmail[dot]com)
RSVP? On Facebook; On Web

Lads and Lasses 2: A Drag and Scag Fundraiser
When? 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Where? AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, 3210 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
What? Your $5 donation at the door will directly benefit the agency, along with proceeds from the wine bar and tips for the performers. Hosted by Ms. Toni Simmons, and with a performance by special guest, The Cleveland Kings and Girls (CKG), this is one evening you do NOT want to miss!
RSVP? On Facebook

September 20

NARAL Ohio & OHLA Trust Women Suffragette Protest
When? 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where? Downtown Columbus, 3rd Street, side of the Statehouse
What? Join us at the Statehouse to make sure that the Ohio Senate knows we are watching and tell them to NOT take up the ridiculous “Heartbeat” bill!
RSVP? On Facebook; info@prochoiceohio.org

GetEQUAL’s Day of Discontent
When? 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Where? Downtown Columbus, Statehouse, 3rd & Broad
What? Join us in urging legislators to not rest on this one piece of our equality BUT rather CONTINUE to legislate in favor of making us FULL AMERICAN CITIZENS. Come out and take a stand with us! WE NEED YOUR TO HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Numbers matter!
RSVP? On Facebook

September 21

Day Two: NARAL Ohio & OHLA Trust Women Suffragette Protest
When? 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where? Downtown Columbus, 3rd Street, side of the Statehouse
What? Join us at the Statehouse to make sure that the Ohio Senate knows we are watching and tell them to NOT take up the ridiculous “Heartbeat” bill!
RSVP? On Facebook; info@prochoiceohio.org

September 27

Equal Housing and Employment Act (EHEA) Rally, Press Conference & Lobby Day
When? 1:30 – 2:30
Where? Statehouse, Columbus, OH
What? Ohio State Representatives Ross McGregor and Nickie Antonio will introduce EHEA in the House. EHEA prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Take the opportunity on September 27th to visit your State Senator and State Representative to ask them to support EHEA.
RSVP? On Facebook

*JUST ADDED*

OHLA: the Ohio Lady Advocates will be having their first meeting at YSU!
When? 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Where? Bresnahan III (down the hall at the rear entrance of Kilcawley Center), Kilcawley Center, YSU
What? We’re looking for young women and men who are interested in getting involved with actions that target local and state issues that threaten women’s, and men’s, access to quality, affordable healthcare options. We’ll discuss upcoming events, current projects/issues, and much, much more. Please invite your friends! These issues are especially important to college students, so come join us!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 2

First Annual Non-Violence Parade and Rally
When? 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Where? Lincoln Ave., Youngstown, OH
What? Ohio Lady Advocates will be participating in Youngstown’s first ever Non-Violence parade in celebration of Non-Violence Week (Oct. 2-8). The parade is open to all nonprofit organizations such as youth groups, athletic teams, church groups, neighborhood watch groups as well as businesses and government officials and politicians. We will start on Lincoln Ave. in front of the new YSU business school and proceed downtown. March with us in the parade and shout with us at the rally to help us wipe out violence!
RSVP? On Facebook

Ongoing

Repeal Senate Bill 5
What? Register new voters; Distribute Absentee Ballot Request Applications because these forms will NOT be mailed to voters automatically this year; Canvass or Phone Bank to converse with the community about the importance of voting NO on Issue 2 in order to STOP SB5.
Contact? Fight For A Fair Economy or We Are Ohio

Stop House Bill 194, The Voter Suppression Law
What? HB194 would severely limit early voting by mail, prohibit poll workers from assisting voters in completing forms, and make it more difficult for early voters to access in-person locations during evening hours and Sundays. We are currently collecting petition signatures to get a citizen’s VETO onto the 2012 ballot, and the deadline to STOP this law from affecting the 2011 elections is September 28.
Contact? Fair Elections Ohio for a signing event in your area or to collect signatures yourself.