Isabel Hahn / OCSA 10th Grade
Angry posters, American flags, and people doing push-ups on public sidewalks. These have been some of the sights across the country as thousands of people broke stay-at-home orders to flood the streets in protests against the COVID-19 lockdown.
Though at first the protests were mostly small in size, they quickly garnered mass support and attention, social media activity being a main cause of this.
The protests have been led by conservative organizations, and many other right-wing subgroups such as gun rights activists and anti-vaccine supporters have used the protests to push their agenda as well. It seems that protesters strongly believe that the lockdown is stripping away the rights of business owners and the millions in unemployment due to the virus. They also claim that the virus is being exaggerated by the government in order to make citizens easier to control.
Over the past few weeks, protesters in states including California, Michigan, Texas, and Washington gathered in masses, honking car horns and holding up signs with messages such as “No Liberty. No Life.” and “My Body. My Choice. Trump 2020.” Some could even be seen marching with rifles and handguns in possession. President Trump has publicly tweeted support for protests in Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia.
The protests have only increased in intensity over time. On April 19, over 2,000 people stormed the Washington state capitol. Participants in this gathering did not wear masks, clogged streets, and were not afraid to “risk all hazards” if it meant fighting for their liberty.
More recently, another group of protestors stormed the Michigan state capitol; some were armed, wearing military gear and protective face masks while aggressively shouting at officers.
In Florida, people protesting against gyms shutting down decided to gather and do push-ups and squats outside of the Clearwater courthouse.
What is quite ironic about these spreading protests is that those involved claim that the whole movement is for the lives of others, those who are out of jobs and struggling to meet ends meet because of the lockdown. However the initial reason of the lockdown was to save lives, and in fact, no matter what the intentions of the protesters may be, mass gatherings will only prevent the country from moving forward. It is important to remember that the dilemma currently pressing our nation is not a matter of politics; it is a matter of public health.
<Isabel Hahn / OCSA 10th Grade>