We need street theater and music. These issues are too important to leave to chants. But some of them were “We got to beat, beat beat back the corporate attack,” and “Rob Portman robs the poor man” and “1,2,3, 4, 5, everybody for the Buffet rule, say aye aye.”

Adena Tartt portman protest Adrena Tartt said she was protesting because Senator Portman voted nay on the procedural vote for the Buffet rule.

"We need to get the word out to the citizens of Ohio that we have a senator that does not value the public’s concern about the 1 percent paying their fair share. The polls show a majority of citizens in Ohio support the Buffet rule.”

Chris Maxie said he was protesting to help restore fairness to the US economy.

“This is just the simplest of American ideas, that people who are getting all the money and getting all of the wealth should pay the same percentage in taxes that their secretary does or their workers do.”

He said elected officials are out of touch with their constituents.

Chris Maxie protests outside the Columbus Ohio office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman (photo by Bob Studzinski)

“When we go and talk to them they stutter and it’s like I’m thinking at the back of my mind, ‘Ok, I obviously as a working person don’t have a lobbyist and don’t have a voice in this democracy anymore, and it’s really obvious who owns you.’ It’s really apparent that our elected officials are just not at all representing the majority of people in this country. I just saw that first-hand going into Portman’s office.”

Maxie said major campaign finance reform is a key part of addressing this problem. He said he has talked with a wide variety of people as a canvasser for Working America, the community outreach arm of the AFL-CIO.

“Almost every person I’ve talked with supports the idea of major campaign finance reform and getting corporate money out of politics and ending corporate personhood.”

Maxie said the political left has to be less scattered in terms of the message it presents.

“We got to really message strong on ‘hey, money’s not speech, corporations aren’t people.’ We got to start representing working families again.”

Dusty Reese of SEIU visits staff at the Columbus Ohio offices of Senator Rob Portman

Dusty Reese works with the Fight for a Fair Economy.

"The goal of the campaign is to highlight income inequality in our country. This (the protest) is a part of actions across the state--in Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, Youngstown, Columbus, and Cincinnati. On May 15, we’re going to be having an action at First Energy in Akron…They paid zero dollars in federal taxes last year. So we’re going to be up at their shareholder meeting.”

Reese said there also will be an action at General Electric’s shareholder meeting in Detroit on April 25. For more info contact Fight for a Fair Economy which is associated with SEIU.

Photographs by Bob Studzinski.