A Patriots’ Day Rally organized by opponents of the state’s business closures took place at noon, at Wesley Bolin Memorial Park in Phoenix.
The Patriots' Day Rally came just one day after a similar protest in Downtown Phoenix. Monday's protest started with a few shouts, followed by prayers and the Pledge of Allegiance.
A few hundred people reportedly attended the protest. There were American flags flying and patriotic music blaring. T-shirts and signs filled the protest site, with messages like "defend the constitution" and "fight tyranny."
The group then marched half a block to the Arizona State Capitol, right past officers are who keeping the peace and directing traffic.
Meanwhile, a handful of nurses, who were wearing masks, refused to move, protesting the protestors.
The demonstrations echo several others around the nation outside state Capitols and governors’ mansions.
In states like Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia, small-government groups and supporters of right-wing causes have united behind a deep suspicion of efforts to shut down daily life to slow the spread of COVID-19. Frustrated protesters have also visibly ignored social distancing rules while holding signs and protesting together.
President Donald Trump last week unveiled a framework for governors to follow to open their states back up. But he acknowledged they will have the final say on when their state is ready. Health experts warn that lifting restrictions too quickly could result in a surge of new cases.
Protesters speak out
On Monday's protest, protesters say while they do believe the virus is hurting and killing a lot of people, they also think individuals should use their own common sense to stay safe, and that the government should butt out.
"Do your best to slow the spread of the virus with voluntary compliance, rather than laws that punish people," said Will Yount.
"We also need to make sure the data we are getting is fact-based data," said Don Wheeler.
"Whether I think I’m gonna die or get it, let me out. Let me do my thing," said Karye Perez.
There was no trace of social distancing at the protest, except by drivers continuously circling the block, constantly honking their horns.
At the foot of the State Capitol building, protesters fanned out on the Capitol lawn and broke into chants of "open Arizona." Some even entered the Governor's office tower, but seemed to stay in the lobby.
FOX 10 has reached out to Gov. Ducey for comments on the protests, but we have yet to receive a response.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
FULL COVERAGE: fox10phoenix.com/coronavirus
How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ
Arizona COVID-19 Response
Public resources, FAQ, webinars
On CoronavirusNOW.com, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.