Backlash Against Pennsylvania Quarantine Kicks Off in Anti-Shutdown Rally in Harrisburg
Protesters are converging on Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 20, 2020.
They are rallying against the state government’s recent measures that has shut down most of the state.
Some of the protesters will not be wearing masks, which runs against most health guidelines states are taking these days.
“I’m definitely not going to be out there shouting at people for not wearing masks,” commented Chris Dorr, the organizer of the rally taking place at the statehouse. “This is a free country, right?”
Dorr, is an Ohio Second Amendment activist, who recently created the Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine Facebook group as a way to give people a voice against the shutdown measures. On April 16, 2020 the page was able to attract 20,000 members. The next day it had over 46,000.
“It’s going insane, quite frankly,” he said.
Pennsylvania officials learned about the gathering and have cautioned Pennsylvanians to not attend.
“If you come to Harrisburg and you’re not practicing social distancing, then you are putting all of yourselves at risk,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary, said on April 15. “So if a gathering like that happens and they’re not practicing social distancing … then they will be more at risk for contracting the dangerous virus.”
Troy Thompson, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, said that Capitol building is closed and public gatherings are not allowed. The department is still on guard about the “unauthorized” plans for a rally and is preparing as we speak.
“We strongly discourage anyone from attending any public gathering at this time,” Thompson stated in an email on April 17, 2020. “Protesters who gather on Monday will be placing themselves and others at significant risk of COVID-19 infection.”
Dorr’s Facebook group is one of various organizations spearheading the rally which also features ReOpen PA and End The Lockdown PA. Joel Underwood, a spokesperson for the groups, said participants are encouraged to practice social distancing and “make their own choice as to whether to remain in their vehicle or not.”
According to Underwood, 1,400 people have indicated that they’ll attend, and two elected officials, State Representatives Aaron Bernstine and Russ Diamond will be speaking.
Dorr, 37, said he created the Facebook page from a “constitutional approach” to rally against the shutdown, believing the government “overplayed their hand here” based on misleading data and overblown models.
“They are not adapting quickly to those new numbers,” he stated. “Economic destruction is mounting like a tidal wave.”