Why people are protesting a pandemic


From a rally in Richmond, Virginia.

Emma Lewandowski, Co-Editor in Chief

Earlier this month, following stricter stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, multiple states across the U.S., Asia, Europe, and South America saw protests in response to orders regarding the pandemic. These protests and demonstrations have been organized by right-wing groups in an attempt to persuade lessening of said government regulations. 

Via @MikenzieFrost on Twitter from the Lansing protest.

One of the first protests – referred to as “Operation Gridlock” – was on April 15 in Lansing, Michigan, after thousands of protesters flooded the streets with honking cars, many adorned with President Trump flags, American flags, and Confederate flags.  

Many protestors also took to the front lawn of the Michigan’s capitol building, chanting “We will not comply!” in response to governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. One Twitter user shared a collection of photos and a video from the protest, and tweeted that it was “looking similar to a Trump rally. There are a lot of MAGA/KAGA attire and flags.”

In drone footage documenting the Lansing demonstration, cars can be seen causing a traffic jam for miles in the roads leading to the state capitol. 

Multiple other states staged similar protests, including Virginia and Minnesota. President Trump named all three of these states in multiple tweets supporting the protests, claiming they would benefit from the “liberation” as he described.  

The following states have similarly held protests: Washington, Texas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Maryland, New Hampshire, Virginia, California, Minnesota, Florida, and Idaho.

From a march in Orlando, Florida.

In response to one of the protests in Denver, Colorado, two nurses stood peacefully in counter-protest to people in vehicles crowding the street. Photographer Alyson McClaran captured these at the state capitol on April 19, and these images have since gone viral.

Also in a video posted to Twitter, a woman yells at said nurses and wields a sign that says “Land Free.”  

In a video posted to Facebook, another counter-protester took to the street in Madison, Wisconsin, and was more vocally active in disagreement with the pandemic protesters (profanity warning). 

Photo by Alyson McClaran during Denver protest.

Nurses have similarly spoken to the anti-lockdown protests, and many have banded together to remind citizens of the purpose of stay-at-home. An article published on Nurse.org states the two most important mission of the stay-at-home movement being to protect the most vulnerable in society, and to also flatten the curve and avoid overwhelming hospitals with an overwhelming number of sick patients. 

A nurse showcased in the same article took to Facebook and explained her experience as an ICU nurse in Detroit in response to the Michigan protests. 

Stay healthy and safe, and all of us at the Sabre Voice encourage you to continue practicing proper social distancing orders per the Safe at Home regulations.