Protesters swarmed state capitol buildings in massive groups over the weekend after Donald Trump called his supporters to ‘LIBERATE’ a handful of states.
On Saturday, demonstrators converged on the Texas capitol building in Austin demanding an end to the shutdown, one day after Trump posted a series of tweets urging protesters to ‘LIBERATE’ Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia – three states with Democratic governors.
The Texas protest saw hundreds of supporters gather with signs, some in support of Trump and others with messages like ‘This is tyranny, not quarantine’ and ‘Open now.’ In the crowd was notable conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, the right-wing personality behind InfoWars who was seen leading protesters in chants with a megaphone.
Protests also took place in state capitals in Maryland and Ohio, as well as in San Diego, California, on Saturday while more are planned in other states to voice outrage at the closed country, which has seen 22 million Americans file jobless claims in one month. In Annapolis, Maryland, demonstrators stayed in their cars and honked their horns as they drove around the capital building demanding that Governor Larry Hogan reopen the state.
‘We are petitioning our governor, Larry Hogan, to immediately reopen oru state’s business, educational and religious institutions,’ protesters wrote in a letter to posted online.
‘The economic, social and educational disruption caused by the shutdowns is guaranteed to cause significant, even greater, harm.’
Trump’s tweets, which he later responded to by saying the three states he referenced were ‘too tough’ in their social distancing orders, has earned him criticism from governors and lawmakers around the country.
Washington governor Jay Inslee said the president’s message was ‘dangerous’ in an interview with ABC’s ‘This Week.’
‘I don’t know any other way to characterize it,’ he said.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also condemned the president’s comments and called the protests ‘a distraction’ from the White House’s failures while responding to the outbreak.
‘I wouldn’t exaggerate the protests across the country. There are some in some places, largely where there’s a Democratic governor,’ She said.
‘But I think of it largely as a distraction and the president’s embrace of it as a distraction from the fact that he has not appropriately done testing, treatment, contact tracing and quarantine.’
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