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Anti-lockdown protests continue in American states

As the coronavirus continues to rip through the USA, protesters in over a dozen states have taken to the streets to voice their concerns over the lockdown measures that have been put in place. The country currently has more than a million cases with over 60,000 deaths.

States such as Michigan, Ohio and Texas have introduced these measures in order to stop the spread of infection. As a result, thousands of Americans have taken part in demonstrations to express their discontent. 

Many of the protesters appear to be conservative, gun activists; their protests have been littered with pro-Trump banners, t-shirts and signs. However, not all protesters have been calling for a complete lift of the lockdown, some believe that it is time for the restrictions to be eased for specific groups. For instance, they would recommend the elderly and vulnerable groups to continue self-isolating.

The protesters make the case that the lockdown measures in place are not necessary to combat the coronavirus. Instead, the measures are doing more damage to the American economy, which is why they feel it needs to be lifted. The total number of unemployed has risen to 26 million in America as of last week. In turn, the protestors believe that it is time for the country to reopen. They argue that state governors need to “let America work again” and that the orders are an “overreaction to the virus.”

Other protesters believe that the lockdown infringes on their civil liberties and contend that some of the measures are unconstitutional. Consequently, they have been campaigning against the idea of contact tracing and immunity passports, as it inhibits their freedom of movement.

President Trump has shown sympathy towards the protesters and has tweeted encouraging tweets such as “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” However, state governors have since put pressure on Trump to condemn the protesters. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has called for the federal government to “reiterate the importance of staying home until we get these numbers down”.

States such as California and Florida have announced their plans to reopen America. Over the next few weeks, they want to begin reopening parks and small businesses such as hair barbers. That being said, the majority of Americans remain under some form of stay-at-home orders.

The protests in America have served as an example as to why many countries have struggled to ensure that people follow their lockdown orders.


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05/05/2020

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Matthew Musindi