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'No Vote' Rally Marches to Allen County Republican Headquarters

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ELLA ABBOTT
/
WBOI
A protester holds up a sign that says 'now we are 'Ruth'less we must rise!' on the sidewalk next to South Clinton Street on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Protesters gathered in front of the Allen County Courthouse Tuesday night to encourage Indiana’s leaders to vote ‘no’ on filling Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat until after inauguration day.

Justice Ginsburg passed away on September 18 after holding her supreme court seat for nearly three decades.

Across the country, people are calling on republican leaders to hold off on a vote for Ginsburg’s replacement until after the next president has been sworn in.

The call comes after republicans kept former President Obama from choosing a Supreme Court Justice after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in 2016.

Vicky Lamont is a teacher in Fort Wayne who showed up to protest in front of the courthouse. She said the American people remember what republican leaders said in 2016 and are prepared to hold them to their words.

 

"And to actually recall what happened in 2016, when Justice Scalia passed and the one side said 'Oh, we've gotta wait because the election's coming up and people need a voice.' Well, this is our time to have a voice."

Protesters met on the courthouse green with signs encouraging republican leaders not to vote. Many of the signs used Ginsburg’s words or likeness, others used Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s words from 2016. Some protesters wore lace around their necks like the collar on Ginsburg’s robe.

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Credit ELLA ABBOTT / WBOI
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WBOI
Fort Wayne resident Jackie Keating holds up a sign in front of the Allen County Republican Headquarters while others lean their signs against the windows, leaving them behind on Tuesday, Septmeber 22, 2020.

  While the protest was about waiting to replace her, much of it was also about honoring Ginsburg’s legacy.

Kimberly Michaelsen, one of the founders of Nasty Women of Allen County, spoke to the crowd during the rally. She recalled many of the things Ginsberg fought for, including equal rights for women.

Lamont said she owes her own activism to Ginsberg’s work.

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"I've been thinking back to what I was doing in the 70s and I was concerned about equal rights for the sexes at that point. And it occured to me that it was because of the work she was doing that brought that to the forefront of normal people like me."

The group marched down the street to the Allen County Republican Headquarters, where they chanted “no vote” and waved their signs at passing motorists, some of whom honked in support. Members of the crowd left messages outside of the headquarters in chalk or propped their signs up against the windows.

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Credit ELLA ABBOTT / WBOI
/
WBOI
Protesters left chalk messages for the Allen County Republicans on the sidewalk next to their headquarters on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. This one reads simply 'no vote'.

Jackie Keating is a long time Fort Wayne resident who also joined the protest. She waved a sign that simply said “#Enough.”

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“She just worked for the people,” Keating said. “And it's time to honor that by letting the people choose."

Before passing, Ginsburg told BBC News that her “most fervent wish” was not to be replaced until a new president was installed.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.
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