A small number of people across over a dozen states have gathered to protest coronavirus lockdowns, citing constitutional freedoms as justification for disobeying state law and disregarding health experts.
Some protestors drove around state capitols, honking horns while holding signs with “give me work, not money” and “I wanna go back to work.”
In Colorado, to protest the protestors, healthcare workers came out and stood in front of a line of blaring cars. Watch the video here.
Protestors were supported by President Trump, and have a number of ties to the White House.
why they are protesting
About 81% of Americans support current lockdowns.
Yet, a small sub-group says that the government shutdown is part of a plan to wreck the economy and hurt Donald Trumps’ re-election campaign. Others say that they are worried about businesses closing and the impact of a recession.
Protesters argue that their constitutional rights are being violated by the lockdown.
President Trump’s support
The President has voiced his support of protestors, many of whom carry pro-Trump signs and hats.
As protests erupted in Michigan, which has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the country, President Trump tweeted: “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.” He also has described the protestors as “very good people” and “very responsible,” supporting their efforts to act out despite having outlined procedures for governors to use for an orderly opening to their states.
who is organizing the protests
An April 14 YouTube video shows Stephen Moore, a close economic advisor to Trump, talking about his efforts to organize the anti-lockdown protests. He says that he is, “working with a group to organize a protest in Wisconsin” and “working with a donor who will pay legal fees of anyone arrested.”
Notably, the same day the above YouTube video dropped, Moore was named to Trump’s task force to reopen the economy.
As reported by the New York Times, conservative group FreedomWorks is also involved in organizing protests and increasing their turnouts. FreedomWorks is an advocacy group that trains volunteers to mobilize and protest, and is largely responsible for the success of the Tea Party movement.
Additionally, a law firm assisting a person who was arrested in Raleigh during a protest includes an attorney who works for President Trump.
Check out the debate: Does my right to freedom mean more than your right to a safe environment?