Protest greets Romney: We are women and we vote

KIRKWOOD, Mo – “The majority opinion, the opinion of women, the scientific evidence – none of it matters to the right wing. None of it matters to Mitt Romney,” Mallory Schwarz told the People’s World, as about 50 activists protested the Republican presidential hopeful’s campaign stop here at City Park.

“People are up-set,” Schwarz, a student, continued. “We care about what is going on. We are women and we vote.”

Schwarz also talked about Romney’s “flip-flopping” and past support for reproductive rights, birth control and choice.

She said his ideas – and the other Republican presidential candidates’ ideas – are “outdated” and “from the dark-ages.”

Mitt Romney is currently the Republican presidential front-runner. And while Romney and Rick Santorum both won more delegate in Tuesday’s primary elections, neither candidate is anywhere near clinching the 1,144 delegates needed to be the Republican presidential nominee.

Santorum’s victories in Alabama and Mississippi and Romney’s victories in Hawaii and America Samoa will likely force the nomination process to drag on for another few months, possibly until the Republican National Convention.

Additionally, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are still actively campaigning – claiming they represent the “real conservative base” – which will likely continue to demoralize the fiscal and social conservative factions of an increasingly divided Republican Party.

All of which bodes well for an energized and united people’s movement headed by organized labor, people of color, women and students.

Additionally, the AFL-CIO and many individual international and local unions have already endorsed President Barack Obama and are actively beginning to make plans to mobilize hundreds of thousands of union members.

They plan on door knocking, phone banking, distributing worksite leaflets and talking to their neighbors about President Obama’s stance on issues that benefit working families.

Bradley Harmon, president of the Missouri State Workers’ Union (CWA-MSWU) Local 6355, told the People’s World, “It is clear that Mitt Romney hates working people.”

“He has said many times that he wants to establish a national right-to-work law and get rid of the National Labor Relations Board. He calls union leaders and members stooges and thugs,” Harmon added.

“He couldn’t make it clearer. He hates working people. He sees us as commodities,” Harmon concluded.

Pamela Merritt, from Planned Parenthood, said, “We plan on holding those who aspire to high office accountable.”

She said the Republican presidential candidates “feel entitled to make decisions for women.”

“It is unbelievable that we are actually having a debate about birth control,” she added. “Millions of women use birth control for various health reasons,” not because they are “sluts or prostitutes,” as Rush Limbaugh claims.

Both Merritt and Schwarz talked about the proposed bust of Limbaugh in the Hall of Famous Missourians. Schwarz called it “unconscionable” and said Limbaugh belongs in a “Hall of Shame.”

And while Harmon was optimistic about the upcoming presidential elections, he also said, “We face a lot of challenges.”

“It has been bad for working people for a long time. President Obama has helped make things better. We’re making progress. People are getting back to work. The economy is getting better,” Harmon said.

“But a lot of people have lost hope and Citizen’s United means the right wing will pour more money into these elections than ever before.”

“That just means we’ve got to educate our members and tell them what the real choices are,” Harmon concluded. “We can’t afford to let Romney win.”

Photo: Schwartz, third from left. Tony Pecinovsky/PW


Tony Pecinovsky
Tony Pecinovsky

Tony Pecinovsky serves as fundraising co-chair for St. Louis Jobs with Justice, is a member of the United Media Guild and delegate to the St. Louis Central Labor Council. He is also the president of the St. Louis Workers' Education Society. His work has been published in the St. Louis Labor Tribune, Alternet, Shelterforce, Political Affairs and Z-Magazine, among other publications.