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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I just got home about an hour ago from the Columbus version of the National Nurse-in against Delta Airline. Things went amazingly well, especially considering that we just started getting organized on Sunday evening. I'd spent all day yesterday contacting local media and was feeling a little depressed that no one called me back, but decided to go for it anyway.
I knew that things were looking up when I heard 610 WTVN mention the nurse-in during their news break while I was driving to the airport. Then I arrived and found a reporter and a photographer from The Columbus Dispatch waiting for us. Within moments of starting to speak with the Dispatch reporter, the Channel 10 (CBS) news crew showed up...followed by a news crew from Channel 4 (NBC) and a photographer from the Associated Press. Better still, we ended up with 12 nursing mothers (most from the AP Village forum here in Columbus) and 18 children gathered from about 10am to around 11:30am.
Overall, it went very, very well. I was the first to arrive, which was good since I needed to unload two kids and the media kits. As I was doing so, the Dispatch reporter came over to interview me. He asked quite a few questions including how I got involved, why I was there for the rally, how I felt about the Delta issue and so on. While he was speaking with me a representative from the airport showed up. I introduced myself, shook hands with her and assured her that we weren't there to cause any trouble and that we'd be staying back against the wall and out of the flow of pedestrians.
That's when she told me that the airport requires a "permit" for any protest and that I'd need to file the proper paperwork and then wait the 24-48 hours for things to be approved. "We'd like you to leave" she said.
I looked at her and replied "Well, we're not here to protest. We're simply gathering on CITY property to LEGALLY breastfeed our children in a show of support for nursing moms. We will NOT be leaving, but we also won't be doing anything to cause problems."
She looked at me, she looked at the reporter standing there listening.
"Well, how long will you be here?"
"I expect for about an hour or two."
No response. She simply walked off. ;) She then proceeded to hover about 25 feet away for more than an hour, shooting us not very happy looks. But...she didn't make a scene nor did she try to call the cops.
I have to think that the four news crews standing there with us might have had something to do with that.
Ultimately, NBC and CBS each interviewed several moms and the reporters and photographers took TONS of pictures. The CBS and Dispatch reporters (both men) were exceedingly pleasant and stuck around for quite awhile making conversation and asking questions. The NBC reporter (a woman) was nice enough while interviewing us, but one mom saw her roll her eyes as she and her camera man finally walked away.
The story ran on the noon CBS news, though I haven't seen it yet. It's also up as a "breaking story" on the Dispatch site, but I expect the full version will show up tomorrow. I'll be sure to post updates and links as I find them. In the meantime, here are a ew pictures taking by me and by Rachel of the AP Village forum. I expect to have more photos to post later.