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ASPartOfMe
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29 Apr 2020, 9:54 pm

Protesting During A Pandemic Isn’t New: Meet The Anti-Mask League

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In the middle of a devastating global pandemic, a few thousand people gathered in San Francisco to protest against measures meant to slow the spread of the virus. Many of the protesters at the meeting claimed the measures were trampling on their constitutional rights, while a few others argued that the measures weren’t working anyway. The group called itself the Anti-Mask League, and its story blends right into today’s news – but it took place in January 1919, when the virus sweeping through San Francisco and the rest of the world was influenza.

The First Wave And The War Effort
The first cases of the 1918 flu reached San Francisco in late September of 1918, right around the time Philadelphia was planning its ill-fated War Bond parade. Less than a month later, more than 2,000 people in the city were sick. San Francisco’s Board of Health issued some recommendations that sound a lot like life in most of the U.S. today, telling people to wash their hands and avoid crowds. After a few days of debate, the city closed its dance halls, theaters, movie houses, and schools, and prohibited large gatherings.

San Francisco joined other cities around the country in recommending – and then requiring, a few days later – that people wear masks anytime they were out in public. Some people complained, out loud and in writing; masks were a hassle, they said, and requiring people to wear them was unconstitutional (that hasn’t held up in court). California’s state health officials hesitated to recommend masks for the whole state, though, since they weren’t sure gauze masks (the standard at the time, even for doctors and nurses working with flu patients) would do any good against the influenza virus.

And they weren’t wrong. Gauze is even less useful at stopping 80-120 nanometer (.08 to 1.2 micron) virus particles than the multiple layers of tightly-woven cotton the CDC recommends today. The fashionable drapes of chiffon many women wore did no good at all. But by late 1918, masks had become a national symbol of responsibility and patriotism. Slowing the spread of influenza became part of the war effort in the final months of World War I.

The man or woman or child who will not wear a mask is now a dangerous slacker,” declared the Red Cross in a public service announcement. In cities like San Francisco, people found not wearing masks were charged with “disturbing the peace.” Most paid $5 fines (which went straight to the Red Cross); some went to jail until it became apparent that crowding people into jails during a pandemic was, at best, not a great idea.

Most people complied with the rules, though. City officials estimated that about 80% of San Franciscans wore their masks. One of those who didn’t was then-mayor James Rolph; reporters caught him out in public unmasked, posing with a congressman, an admiral, and two judges – all bare-faced. When the city’s police chief saw the photo, he promptly fined his boss $50.

Masks, effective or not, had become an important symbol that the wearer was willing to do their part to fight the pandemic (and the Central Powers). Around the country, there were even a few reports of maskless people being attacked in the streets. None of that fervor meant that people actually liked wearing the masks, though (it’s likely that many of us today can relate). When San Francisco rescinded its mask order on November 21, 1918, just 10 days after the end of the war, people ripped their masks off, tore them to pieces, and tossed them into the streets.

The Second Wave And The Anti-Mask League
Just like today, the drastic measures San Francisco and the rest of the country took in 1918 seemed to work. “Flatten the curve” wasn’t a term people used in 1918, but that’s what seemed to be happening. By mid-November, fewer people were getting sick, and San Francisco began to re-open, just as parts of the world are doing today. People packed into theaters, eager to get back to business (and pleasure) as usual – and within two weeks, the deadly flu had made a dramatic comeback. And – in San Francisco and all over the world – the second wave was worse than the first.

By mid-January 2019, city officials once again ordered people to wear their masks in public. And in the midst of the devastating outbreak, a group of between 2,000 and 4,000 people decided to hold a large public gathering in order to protest being told to wear masks.

The Anti-Mask League, as the group called itself, eventually presented a petition to the Board of Supervisors, demanding the repeal of the mask ordinance. San Francisco lifted its mask order on February 1, 1919, just 4 days after the Anti-Mask League presented its petition – but also around the time the second wave of influenza was beginning to taper off. And in hindsight, it’s hard to know quite what to make of the Anti-Mask League.

Its members accounted for less than 1% of San Francisco’s population at the time – perhaps 4,000 people out of around 500,000. Ironically, that’s close to the same number of people who died of the 1918 influenza outbreak in the city. So the Anti-Mask League wasn’t exactly a large grassroots movement, but its members included doctors and at least one elected city official. And at the time, even California’s state Board of Health was arguing that flimsy gauze masks were probably ineffective anyway.

“The attitude of the state board is encouraging the Anti-Mask League,” a San Francisco city health official responded. That debate played out in front of a frightened and frustrated public – much like the debate over masks during the COVID-19 pandemic played out earlier this spring.

While it’s true that cloth masks are far from a perfect shield against tiny virus particles, but the best available data suggests that they’re much better than nothing when it comes to keeping infected people exhaling virus-laden droplets of spit and mucus all over the people around them. And since it’s possible to spread COVID-19 long before you realize you’re infected, wearing a mask is usually the responsible thing to do, just as it was in 1918.


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29 Apr 2020, 11:49 pm

sly279 wrote:
NoClearMind53 wrote:
MaxE wrote:
It seems our state had such a protest but they all stayed in their vehicles. I can't object to their right to protest if they do it that way.

They aren't allowed to create a traffic jam and block ambulances though. If "antifa" did this the right would be crying for blood. The milatarized cops would probably come in with armored vehicles and open fire on the cars blocking traffic.

Omfg antifa does traffic jams at regular and are never stopped.
Help even in my town they do it and we’re just told to avoid them as they walk around blocking traffic.
No tanks. No military, police are told to let them do it and stand down.

So no if antifa did this they’d be praised in national news as heroes like they are for everyone of their violent mobs.


right...does ANTIFA even exist anymore? they seem about as relevant in the news today as the IRA or PLO these days... :roll:



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30 Apr 2020, 12:14 am

cyberdad wrote:
right...does ANTIFA even exist anymore? they seem about as relevant in the news today as the IRA or PLO these days... :roll:


All those of those groups still exist.
And all three of them are probably following lockdown orders. :lol:



cyberdad
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30 Apr 2020, 12:21 am

funeralxempire wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
right...does ANTIFA even exist anymore? they seem about as relevant in the news today as the IRA or PLO these days... :roll:


All those of those groups still exist.
And all three of them are probably following lockdown orders. :lol:

:lol:



ASPartOfMe
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30 Apr 2020, 4:54 pm

Michigan protesters storm state Capitol in fight over coronavirus rules: 'Men with rifles yelling at us'

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Dozens of protesters, some of whom were armed, gathered Thursday inside Michigan's Capitol building to voice their opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order, with tensions high as lawmakers were poised to debate an extension of the declaration.

Holding American flags and handmade signs, the demonstrators in Lansing first congregated shoulder-to-shoulder outside before demanding to be let inside the building. Some chanted "Let us in," The Detroit News reported.

Dennis Sigler, 66, of Mason, told the newspaper he attended the protest out of respect for others and not because he was worried about the COVID-19.

I love freedom," he said. "In America, we should be free. Don't let them try to protect us from ourselves."

State Sen. Dayna Polehanki, a Democrat, tweeted a photo of what she described as armed demonstrators yelling above her. She said some of her colleagues were wearing "bullet proof vests" inside the House chamber.

"Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg," she posted.

Michigan has allowed guns inside the Capitol building but banned protest signs several years ago.

State House lawmakers eventually adjourned their meeting without taking up the extension. However, the House approved a resolution giving Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, the ability to challenge Whitmer's actions legally, MLive reported.

"Members of the Michigan House of Representatives must defend the Legislature’s role as the sole lawmaking body and as a co-equal branch of government in Michigan’s constitutional system," the resolution stated.

Whitmer claimed she had the emergency authority regardless of what state lawmakers did.

Thursday's rally came as some people living in Michigan have continued to demand Whitmer roll back her stay-at-home order in an effort to reopen the state's economy and allow residents to resume daily activities. Last week, she extended the mandate through May 15 but loosened some restrictions beginning Friday.

Residents will be allowed to travel between residences, but it will be "strongly discouraged."

Following Thursday's events, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, voiced her frustration with the treatment of the armed protesters compared to African-Americans.

"Black people get executed by police for just existing, while white people dressed like militia members carrying assault weapons are allowed to threaten State Legislators and staff," she tweeted. "Our gun laws are so broken."


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30 Apr 2020, 5:02 pm

I'm just waiting for the next civil war to break out, and you better believe I WILL be rubbing it in everyone's face when it happens!



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30 Apr 2020, 7:25 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Following Thursday's events, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan, voiced her frustration with the treatment of the armed protesters compared to African-Americans.

"Black people get executed by police for just existing, while white people dressed like militia members carrying assault weapons are allowed to threaten State Legislators and staff," she tweeted. "Our gun laws are so broken."
[/quote]

Comedian Dave Chapelle said if every African American registered for a fire-arm the US congress would move to amend the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. He's probably right.



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30 Apr 2020, 7:35 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Comedian Dave Chapelle said if every African American registered for a fire-arm the US congress would move to amend the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. He's probably right.

:lol:


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01 May 2020, 1:37 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Not exactly an anti-lockdown protest but I did not want to start another COVID-19 thread.

Hundreds gather at funeral in NYC, sparking police response and warning from mayor
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Hundreds of people gathered in Brooklyn Tuesday evening for a rabbi's funeral, sparking a stern warning for New York City's mayor and a response from the NYPD. CBS New York reported many could be seen wearing face masks, but they were standing close together.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says "the time for warnings has passed" after a large crowd was found gathering for a funeral in Brooklyn during the coronavirus pandemic. Police officers were on the scene to help with crowd control.

In a tweet, the mayor wrote: "We have lost so many these last two months and I understand the instinct to gather to mourn. But large gatherings will only lead to more deaths and more families in mourning. We will not allow this. I have instructed the NYPD to have one standard for this whole city: zero tolerance."

De Blasio added: "My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period."

No arrests have been made, CBS New York reported.

De Blasio's tweets sparked outrage from City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who accused the mayor of singling out a single ethnic community, stereotyping and inviting anti-Semitism.


NYPD was warned ‘big crowd’ would turn out for rabbi’s funeral
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The NYPD was warned that the funeral of a prominent Brooklyn rabbi would draw a “big crowd” and sent dozens of cops with barricades and light towers — despite a ban on mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Post has learned.

But the situation in Williamsburg got out of hand when mourners surged toward the synagogue because a plan to relay the service over loudspeakers was unexpectedly canceled, a longtime liaison between the Hasidic Satmar community and the NYPD said Wednesday.

Moses Weiser said he “personally spoke” with NYPD Capt. Mark Vazquez before Tuesday’s funeral of Rabbi Chaim Mertz, who reportedly died of COVID-19.

“I asked him to use his resources however he wants to put this together, and he basically told us that we should follow his instructions,” Weiser said.

“We knew there was going to be a big crowd, especially now with no schools open, no yeshivas open — everyone wants to pay their respects to such a man.”

Weiser said Mertz’s synagogue, Tolas Yakov Bais Hamedrash, “originally wanted to have just family” outside “and we would set up speakers down the street a couple of blocks so that people could spread out and listen.”

“But an order came from somewhere to cancel the speakers, I’m not sure where the order came from, and so people started gathering close to see what was going on and to hear,” he said.

Earlier Wednesday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea acknowledged that the department was unable to control the massive crowd that gathered, leading Mayor Bill de Blasio to rush to the scene and oversee its dispersal.
see also
Gatherings like Brooklyn funeral put cops' 'lives at risk': NYPD commish

“Plans were put in place. A detail was put in place. Unfortunately, when we look back at some of the past incidents, people have been overwhelmingly compliant but there have been a couple of incidents that were not so,” Shea said.



NYPD Cracks Down on Another Large Jewish Funeral in Brooklyn, Stoking Tensions
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Tensions between police and members of New York City’s Hasidic Jewish community flared again Thursday as officers interrupted a crowded funeral procession to crack down on social distancing violators.

Video posted on social media showed officers in protective masks chasing a minivan through Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood as it carried the body of a deceased rabbi. The officers can be heard shouting at dozens of people marching behind the van to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

A 17-year-old boy was taken into custody and issued a summons for disorderly conduct after he was accused of pushing a police official, according to a police spokeswoman, Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday urging the Justice Department “to closely monitor New York City” for potential religious discrimination in the wake of de Blasio’s tweets.

State Senator Simcha Felder, who represents Borough Park, posted a tweet after Thursday’s confrontation saying “terrorizing people by sending in armies of cops during such stressful times is not helpful at all. @NYCMayor - we need real leadership. Stop the chaos now

Still, the former lawmaker said de Blasio’s singling out of Jews in his tweets “crossed every line.”

“It encourages anti-Semitism and scapegoating of the Jewish community,” Hikind said. “The mayor played right into the hands of the anti-Semites. I know that was not his intention. I know he’s a decent guy. He didn’t have the decency to just say the simple words, ‘I’m sorry I made a mistake.’”

Billionaire businessman and activist Ronald Lauder said Wednesday that the World Jewish Congress would move to censure De Blasio for his remarks. Lauder said the gathering was inappropriate but said the mayor's remarks had gone too far.

Borough Park, where Thursday’s funeral was held, has had at least 2,300 people test positive for the virus, according to city data. That’s the sixth most of any ZIP code in the city.

Hikind said people violating social distancing rules in Brooklyn are relatively small in number and are behaving in ways that goes against Judaism’s central tenant of preserving life.

You can’t have funerals with hundreds of people. You can’t have people praying in synagogues. You can’t do those things when people’s lives are on the line. It violates everything in Judaism,” he continued.

The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council said de Blasio faile to enforce social distancing when it came to the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels flyover earlier in the day, an event that brought people out of their homes and in common areas to watch


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01 May 2020, 3:45 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Comedian Dave Chapelle said if every African American registered for a fire-arm the US congress would move to amend the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. He's probably right.


“A mob of the MAGA persuasion
Conducted a statehouse invasion.
Though heavily armed,
They parted unharmed,
And that’s how you know they‘re Caucasian.”


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02 May 2020, 12:19 am

This sounds about right. The petty dictators are losing their grip and being humiliated, and so some of them are doubling down, which in a mostly-still-free country causes them to lose their grip even more as free people resist.

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02 May 2020, 6:08 am

goldfish21 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Comedian Dave Chapelle said if every African American registered for a fire-arm the US congress would move to amend the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. He's probably right.


“A mob of the MAGA persuasion
Conducted a statehouse invasion.
Though heavily armed,
They parted unharmed,
And that’s how you know they‘re Caucasian.”


Too true, black and all would be dead.


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02 May 2020, 7:36 am

These protests seem to be having a bit of a backfire effect. Most of them are taking place in "purple" states with a roughly equal mix of Democrat-leaning and Republican-leaning voters. They generally have unpopular governors. But nearly all governors are enjoying cross-party support right now. Roy Cooper in North Carolina, for example, has gone from 47% approval to 70% approval. Gretchen Witmer is getting a lot of abuse from the conspiracy theorists, but overall she's gone from 42% approval to 63%. And it's not just Democrats - Kevin Stitt in Oklahoma has received lots of praise for his data-driven approach, and his polling has gone up significantly too. And the most popular governor of all right now is Mike DeWine of Ohio. 83% of Ohioans approve of DeWine's handling of the crisis, which is quite incredible really.

In other threads I've used the polling boost George W Bush received after 9/11 as a comparison. Bush peaked at about 87% approval in the days after the attack and it took nearly 700 days for him to get back to the baseline. So DeWine being at 83% is really indicative of huge support from Ohioans. For someone like Whitmer, we're talking about "Obama in his first year" levels of popularity.



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02 May 2020, 9:23 am

According to this site, Governor Larry Hogan (EDIT of Maryland), a Republican governor in his second term leading a predominately Democratic state, has an 80% approval rating. DISCLAIMER I am not otherwise familiar with that site but it was the most recent-seeming information I could find, and its number for DeWine of Ohio matches the one you (@The_Walrus) cited.


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Last edited by MaxE on 02 May 2020, 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

The_Walrus
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02 May 2020, 10:02 am

^ Yes, I was reluctant to post a source as most of them had titles criticising Trump by comparison, which I thought might backfire on me. FiveThirtyEight don’t seem to track governor approval either.

Looks like Maryland had some protests a few weeks ago but Hogan has received a lot of praise for how he has handled things, including securing tests from South Korea. As I said, 80% is very good, even with the crisis.



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