Several Hundred Protest in Raleigh, Call on Governor to Reopen North Carolina

Protesters from a grassroots organization called REOPEN NC argue with a Raleigh police off
LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images

Several hundred protesters in Raleigh, North Carolina, descended on the state’s general assembly building on Tuesday to call for the governor to lift his restrictions on businesses due to the coronavirus and reopen the state.

The protestors waved American and Gadsden flags, and cars honked their horns, according to live video filmed by ABC11-WTVD. They held signs that said “ReOpen NC” and “Make America Free Again.” One sign said, “Fear doesn’t stop death it stops life.”

Some protestors held signs that said, “Every business is essential” and “I am essential.” One held a sign, according to attendee Gerald Jackson: “We are not N.Y.”

One man wearing a t-shirt that said “This Hispanic Always Votes Republican” wearing a MAGA hat, yelled, “Cooper! You’re a threat to the state of North Carolina!” referring to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC).

One man in a pink shirt waved a Trump flag along with a rainbow Gadsden flag.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm here, there’s a lot of pent up energy here,” said WTVD reporter Jonah Caplan. “There are a lot of different motivations here. I think there are a lot of grievances, there’s a lot of frustration, there’s a lot of anxiety, there’s a lot of cabin fever.”

“Some people they’re out of work, some people, they’re just choosing not to be home today,” he added.

Also protesting were a handful of people dressed in scrubs and holding signs.

One sign said “43,000,” for the number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus so far. “Wake up! Wake up! See the light! Listen to the medical professionals,” one woman yelled into a megaphone.

At least one congressman was present at Tuesday’s rally — Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC).

According to Jackson, Bishop said he would tell North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper: “We need a plan to end this order. And we need data and facts and the constitutional rights of Americans do not exist by his favor but by the existence of the Constitution.”

Cooper has said the protestors have the right to protest, but that they needed to practice social distancing in accordance with this Executive Order.

The protest remained peaceful, and many protestors appeared to be taking precautions to keep six feet away from one another.

To date, there have been 83,331 tested; 6,951 confirmed cases; 427 hospitalized; and 213 deaths in North Carolina.


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