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ASPartOfMe
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17 Apr 2020, 10:48 am

Wave of US anti-lockdown protests call for lifting of restrictions

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A wave of low-key but politically-motivated anti-lockdown protests in the US have called for the lifting of restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Dozens of protesters - some wearing masks, some social distancing - rallied outside the governor's mansion in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, chanting "Free Texas" and "Make America Free Again".

Small-government groups, supporters of president Donald Trump, anti-vaccine advocates, gun rights backers and supporters of other right-wing causes combined at the events across the country to pressure state governors to ease restrictions.

Other states, including Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, also saw dissent outside governors' mansions and state parliament buildings.

The largest one so far, in Michigan, saw several thousand demonstrators descend on the state capital, Lansing.

Some of those involved brought weapons, most ignored social distancing and few, if any, wore masks as they chanted and held up signs, including several calling governor Gretchen Whitmer a "Nazi" .

There were even chants of "lock her up", echoing a rallying cry aimed at Democrat Hillary Clinton during Mr Trump's 2016 election campaign events.

The Ohio rally brought together a collection of anti-vaccine advocates, Second Amendment supporters, tea party activists and other anti-government activists.

The Austin event was broadcast live by InfoWars TV, part of a company owned by conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones.

But the protests cut across party lines, for while Ms Whitmer is a Democrat, the governors of Ohio, Texas and Oklahoma are all Republicans.

Oklahoma City was one of the cities where protesters' cars caused traffic jams on roads around their destination, drawing criticism that emergency vehicles might not be able to pass.

Protesters wrote messages on vehicles' windows or on signs saying "stop killing our economy," "we need our church" and "time 2 work".

Wednesday's Lansing rally resembled one of the president's rallies - complete with MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats or Trump flags.

Asked about the protesters, Mr Trump sympathised with their frustration, saying: "They're suffering ... they want to get back."

He also dismissed concerns about the health risks of ignoring state orders and potentially exposing themselves to the virus.

"I think they're listening. I think they listen to me. They seem to be protesters that like me and respect this opinion, and my opinion's the same as just about all of the governors. Nobody wants to stay shut," he said.


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17 Apr 2020, 10:51 am

Yup.  Trumpsters.  No doubt about it.


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funeralxempire
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17 Apr 2020, 2:05 pm

Hey, they've all stocked up on fishbowl cleaner. There's no need to quarantine anymore, they've got Dr. Trump's miracle cure and already believe that older Americans should be willing to die to save Trump's reelection bid.



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17 Apr 2020, 2:29 pm

Trump Tweets Followers to Revolt

On Friday morning, Trump called on his followers to "liberate" three states -- Virginia, Minnesota and Michigan -- that experienced protests.  In Michigan, hundreds of residents gathered in the city of Lansing on Wednesday to protest their stay-at-home orders and call on officials to reopen businesses.  In Kentucky, protesters have interrupted Gov. Andy Beshear's daily briefings on COVID-19.  In Minnesota, protestors took to Gov. Tim Walz's home to condemn the orders.

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LIBERATE MINNESOTA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Quote:
LIBERATE MICHIGAN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Quote:
LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Each of these states is led by a Democrat.

Demonstrations also took place in Utah, North Carolina and Ohio this week, and more are planned for the coming days, in Oregon, Idaho and Texas.


Image



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17 Apr 2020, 2:57 pm

^Trump is trying to, what, exterminate his own vote bank?! I'd be sceptical, but our own Conservative Party's first take on the crisis was "Let's let the old and sick die." I suspect they changed their tune when someone quietly reminded them of the age profile of dedicated Conservative voters...


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funeralxempire
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17 Apr 2020, 5:14 pm

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
^Trump is trying to, what, exterminate his own vote bank?! I'd be sceptical, but our own Conservative Party's first take on the crisis was "Let's let the old and sick die." I suspect they changed their tune when someone quietly reminded them of the age profile of dedicated Conservative voters...


You mean BoJo couldn't get them to go out to protest and demand to be allowed to die like Yankee BoJo has? Oh right, he was a little busy trying to not die from it.



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18 Apr 2020, 12:09 am

Fnord wrote:
Yup.  Trumpsters.  No doubt about it.


Right only trumpsters would protest against losing everything they have over a measure that will eventually make the virus situation worse than it is.

The nation suffering from a total economic collapse is not going curtail the virus. Disease is worse in nations living abject poverty, not better.

Shutdowns going on for too long is a quintessential example of the cure being worse than the disease. In this case making the disease worse instead of better.



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18 Apr 2020, 5:21 am

Coronavirus In Minnesota: Protesters Again Call On Gov. Walz To End Stay-At-Home Order

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For a second day in a row, protesters gathered Friday outside the governor’s mansion in St. Paul, urging Gov. Tim Walz to end the state’s stay-at-home order.

At noon, dozens of protesters could be seen lining the street in front of the governor’s residence, holding signs and American flags.

“I’m a small business owner and my business was shut down forcibly on the 17th of March, and I have yet to see any unemployment, any money come through from the government,” one protester told WCCO. “I’m sitting here waiting here without a paycheck, with no definitive answer on when I will be returning to work, and I don’t think that’s right.”

The group is calling themselves “Liberate Minnesota.” Their organizers say the state’s stay-at-home order has gone on long enough and Minnesotans should be able to go back to work.

In a daily briefing Friday, Walz said he respects the right to protest, but those involved need to practice safe social distancing.


Protesters assemble in front of New Jersey Statehouse to assail stay-at-home order
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Demonstrators gathered in downtown Trenton, N.J., Friday morning to protest Gov. Phil Murphy's "stay-at-home" order to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

While it's unclear how many people were attending the protest, video captured by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce's Twitter account shows a long line of cars honking their horns along West State Street, across from the the Statehouse and Murphy's office. The tweet and video, which also showed people waving American flags, have since been deleted.

The words "no more fear" were audible through a megaphone as a helicopter hovered overhead and law enforcement officers blocked access to the Statehouse parking complex.

conservative media hosts and some Republican leaders have started to bristle against the continued shutdown in recent days, arguing that the damage being done to the economy outweighs the strain being placed on the health care system.

“I can no longer support Governor Murphy’s draconian shut down measures,” state Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren) told InsiderNJ earlier this week. “He needs to stop his one size fits all approach. He is destroying small businesses and sending millions of NJ residents into poverty.


Poll: Americans are afraid of ending the coronavirus lockdowns too soon
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Part of the coronavirus conversation in the US is turning to the question of when to start reopening the country. President Donald Trump certainly wants to do it as soon as possible, based on the theory that the public is demanding to be let back out into restaurants and retail stores so they can resume a normal life.

But as of right now, that doesn’t appear to be true at all. Instead, Americans still seem onboard with social distancing and much more fearful about the health risks of opening up the country too soon than the economic risk of a continued shutdown. The costs of both have been awful — 31,000 dead and counting, 22 million jobs lost — but the public is first and foremost preoccupied with the public health crisis.

The Pew Research Center asked the question directly in a nearly 5,000-person survey conducted from April 7 to 12: Are you more worried about your state government lifting its restrictions on public activities too quickly or not quickly enough? By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans said that they were more worried about rapidly ramping down social distancing.

One likely explanation as to why there is such reluctance: Pew found 73 percent of Americans thought the worst was still to come in the coronavirus outbreak, while just 26 percent thought the worst had already happened.

Another piece of the puzzle may come from Gallup, which released its own polling on Thursday with a related finding: More Americans said they were worried about getting sick from Covid-19 than were worried about severe financial hardship because of the economic slowdown.

Gallup found that women, people who live in cities, and younger adults were most worried about the health risks.

Opinions could, of course, change. Millions of people are now unemployed, and while Covid-19 is very infectious and can be dangerous to people of any age, it’s by far the most threatening to older people and people with preexisting conditions. The public’s calculus on health vs. economic risks might shift as lockdowns drag on, especially if officials can find ways to protect the most vulnerable.

But for the time being, this new polling indicates Americans are content with using social distancing to mitigate the health risks to themselves and their neighbors, even if it comes at an economic price.


Even If U.S. Lockdown Was Lifted Today, Most Americans Wouldn’t Resume Life As Normal, New Poll Finds
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Even if social distancing restrictions were lifted today, more than two-thirds of Americans say they would not resume their normal daily activities, a new poll finds, an ominous sign for the American economy that comes as governors begin to release plans for transitioning the country out of lockdown.

The poll, conducted by Gallup on April 3-5, found that 71% of Americans would “wait and see what happens” when lawmakers lift social distancing restrictions, while just 20% would resume life as normal and 10% would wait “indefinitely


This probably will change as bills don’t get paid, people are thrown into the street, and businesses go bankrupt but for now the protesters are a loud and small minority. The pro lockdown majority are not out in the street demonstrating for lockdowns for obvious reasons. Germaphobia is a powerful seemingly innate human motivator that should not be underestimated.


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EzraS
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18 Apr 2020, 5:53 am

There are many working essential jobs, taking public transportation and in grocery stores and other essential businesses. And they have most likely been getting and spreading the virus the whole month of lockdowns, thus making lockdowns close to pointless by now.



ASPartOfMe
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18 Apr 2020, 10:53 am

EzraS wrote:
There are many working essential jobs, taking public transportation and in grocery stores and other essential businesses. And they have most likely been getting and spreading the virus the whole month of lockdowns, thus making lockdowns close to pointless by now.

Lockdowns are doomed to be viewed as a failure if the goal is to completely shutdown the spread for the reasons mentioned above. Other reasons for spreading the the virus are non work related, going to the store, kids being kids, the virus being much more virulent, harder and long lasting on surfaces than known.

What lockdowns can do is keep the spread contained enough that if you need to be in the hospital for COVID-19 or any other reason.

1. The hospital has room for you
2. There is enough staff to treat you
3. The staff is not so burnt out that they have a better chance of under treating you or making an error when treating you.

Needless to say there is probably a good chance ones autistic needs have less of a chance of being taken into consideration then even unusual.

What the protesters are saying is not that the lockdowns are pointless but.
1. The economic cost are not worth it.
2. The loss of freedom of choice is not worth it.


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18 Apr 2020, 10:58 am

I think lockdowns served a good purpose. But I think that the need for them and their usefulness is winding down.

I think most people are protesting lockdowns going on too long. Most governors have been saying two more weeks. But they have been saying that every two weeks so people are getting mistrustful at this point and letting them know that they are starting to push it.

Most hospitals across the nation have been nearly empty rather than busy.



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18 Apr 2020, 2:58 pm

The lockdowns have undoubtably saved millions of lives. It’s far too early to be easing them. The benefits of the lockdown outweigh the costs by several orders of magnitude. The only people calling for rapid easing of lockdowns are people who fundamentally know very little about how the world works.



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18 Apr 2020, 4:02 pm

The government is paying people who are temporarily out of a job $2400 a month on top of their regular unemployment. So many min wage workers are getting twice or 3 times what they got working. Sorry it’s so hard to be paid to sit at home.


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18 Apr 2020, 4:10 pm

sly279 wrote:
The government is paying people who are temporarily out of a job $2400 a month on top of their regular unemployment. So many min wage workers are getting twice or 3 times what they got working. Sorry it’s so hard to be paid to sit at home.


Does that include you?



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18 Apr 2020, 4:14 pm

From an article concerning such a protest in NJ:

Organizer of New Jersey Anti-Lockdown Rally Charged With Violating Lockdown

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...supporters of President Donald Trump, anti-vaccine advocates, gun rights backers and supporters of right-wing causes have united behind a deep suspicion of efforts to shut down daily life to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Pretty much every segment of society that the present crisis has proven to be irrelevant.


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18 Apr 2020, 4:27 pm

I wonder if these protesters see laws against drinking and driving oppression as well? Of course, some of them probably do because they think that alcohol makes them *better* at driving because it "relaxes" them. :roll: