October 1, 2020

Coronavirus: The US resistance to a continued lockdown

In these times, the sight of a public gathering of hundreds of people mostly without face masks is alarming.

But that is what happened at a demonstration against the shutdown measures in Washington State.

“We believe that the state governor has gone beyond his constitutional authority in shutting down businesses and ordering people to stay at home,” organiser Tyler Miller says from the grounds of the state capitol.

In mid-March, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced an emergency proclamation mirroring many issued around the world; closing restaurants and bars and banning large gatherings.

But protesters say that was unconstitutional.

“The state constitution says that the right of the people to peaceably assemble shall never be abridged. We believe that the (emergency coronavirus) proclamations that the governor here ordered violate that,” Mr Miller says.

Mr Miller said he was not protesting against the recommendations from the public health bodies and respected the need to ‘flatten the curve’.

“I even self-quarantined for 14 days back at the very beginning of this myself, when I had an illness that mirrored some of the symptoms,” he says.

“The fact I am protesting does not mean I think it is a good idea to have gatherings, I just believe that the government has no authority to prohibit them.”

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