Protesters in at least 10 states demand end to coronavirus lockdown
Demonstrators in at least 10 states across the country gathered on Friday to protest against stay-at-home orders and other emergency measures meant to blunt the coronavirus’s spread.
The protests underscored how antsy some are getting to return to a sense of normalcy after the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 1.1 million people in America, shuttered businesses across an array of industries and pushed more than 30 million Americans into unemployment.
Though some demonstrations were lightly attended, demonstrations occurred in state capitols and cities in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee and Washington.
So much of the coverage of these “re-open” events makes them look big.
Here’s the “re-open” New York protest today.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 1, 2020
Several protesters told local media that shutdown orders were imposing too great an economic burden after pushing many small businesses to shutter.
“Businesses are suffering, unemployment checks are not being sent, landlords are not getting rent. We feel like these directives are causing more suffering than is necessary,” New Jersey protester Ayla Wolf told NJ.com.
Protesters were seen waving signs accusing their governors of trying to “ruin” their states and warning of “tyranny.”
California Governor , Gavin Newsom, closed the beaches so people wouldn’t mass gather there.
This is the Reality, MASSIVE PROTESTS with NO ONE following Social Distancing Guidelines!
We are at the point where Lockdowns have the OPPOSITE Effect! pic.twitter.com/NuH4XwFKu6
— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) May 1, 2020
A small protest is underway in Orlando calling for the full reopening of Florida businesses. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed an executive order that allows for restaurants, museums and libraries to open in a limited capacity. The protestors contend that is not enough. pic.twitter.com/SQzIpXINpk
— Robert Sherman (@RobertShermanTV) May 1, 2020
Yet despite the protests, several governors have said their decisions on when and how to reopen their states will be determined based on progress in the fight against the coronavirus and not be political.
“I get the arguments,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). “This is not a political decision.”
The demonstrators have gotten a boost of support in recent days as President Trump has voiced his backing for several of the protesters, tweeting Friday morning that those demonstrating in Michigan are “very good people, but they are angry.”
The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2020
“The president was referencing generally that in this country you have a First Amendment right to protest. I think that’s something we all treasure here and we should rightfully,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a press briefing Friday. “You have a right to do that constitutionally, but you must protest within the bounds of the law.”
“He encourages everyone to protest lawfully and also to engage in our social distancing guidelines,” she continued, “which we think all Americans should engage in.”
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