Spurred by growing lockdown fatigue, more Americans took to the streets over the weekend as leaders ride the line between protecting people from the CCP virus and allowing them the means to still have a roof over their heads or even enough to eat.
Rallies in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Washington state took place on Sunday, demanding that governors lift strict controls on public activity, according to multiple reports. It followed similar protests earlier in half a dozen states, with people demanding a lifting of restrictions that have plunged the once-booming economy into a historic tailspin.
“Even if the virus were 10 times as dangerous as it is, I still wouldnt stay inside my home. Id rather take the risk and be a free person,” said protester Ian Freeman, one of a few hundred to rally on Saturday in New Hampshire, which has around 1,300 cases of COVID-19 and some three dozen deaths.
Worries about the length of lockdowns have a strong basis: the International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to contract 3 percent this year. Tens of millions of workers have lost their jobs already and millions more fear theyll be next.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, hundreds of people rallied outside the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Saturday to protest a lockdown order that closes non-essential businesses until May 1.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he supported peoples right to protest, as long as they observed social distancing guidelines.
“They were protesting against me yesterday, and thats just fine,” DeWine said on NBCs “Meet the Press.” “Were going to do what we think is right, what I think is right. And that is try to open this economy, but do it very, very carefully so we dont get a lot of people killed.”
People dressed in hospital scrubs and wearing masks stood on crosswalks in a counterprotest in Denver, Colorado, on Sunday, blocking cars with anti-lockdown rallygoers, photos and video posted on Twitter show.
Many protesters calling for an early end to the lockdown in Denver, set to expire on April 30, waved American flags and held signs that read “End the Virus, Not the Economy” and “We need stability to stay healthy,” The Denver Post reported.
“Death is a part of life,” said protester Mary Conley of Jefferson County, The Post reported. “And its time to start living again.”
An estimated 2,500 people rallied at the Washington state capitol in Olympia to protest Democratic Governor Jay Inslees stay-at-home order, defying a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people.
“Shutting down businesses by picking winners and losers in which there are essential and non-essential are violations of the state and federal constitution,” rally organizer Tyler Miller, 39, an engineer from Bremerton, Washington, told Reuters.
On Thursday, the White House issued guidelines for reopening the economy in stages.
Heading into the weekend, the president encouraged people to protest stay-at-home orders in a handful of battleground states led by Democratic governors.
Trump issued separate tweets calling to “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA,” warning that Virginia was literally “under siege” over Second Amendment issues predating the lockdown.
On Sunday, Trump defended the demonstrations, saying “these people love our country. They wantRead More From Source