Officials cut off a gym’s power and water supply Thursday in Oxford, Massachusetts, because it refused to comply with the state’s coronavirus reopening plan.
“Electricity and domestic water service were shut off in Prime Fitness & Nutrition, Inc. on Thursday after a judge granted the town the ability to shut down the gym,” according to WHDH.
Fitness centers were not allowed to reopen until phase three of Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) plan, which could begin June 29 at the earliest, the report noted.
Gym owner Dave Blondin has racked up thousands of dollars in fines for violating the phased plan and said Tuesday that if it was necessary, he would go to jail to keep his business going.
“Potentially arrested — it’s 100 percent worth it. I do not care about that, that does not scare me. If they think that it’s going to scare me, then they can go right ahead and do so,” he commented.
However, Judge Susan Sullivan said the order allowing the town to close the gym was out of concern for public safety.
“This behavior needs to stop. I’m not looking to punish. Civil contempt is not about punishment, it’s about coercion,” she stated.
Following its decision to reopen, the gym started a GoFundMe page so people could help pay the fines and also keep the business running during the shutdown.
The site read:
This is a fund to support Prime Fitness in North Oxford. Prime Fitness believes in the health and safety of all our members and we are an essential business because we not only keep you physically healthy, but more important, your mental health. We believe you can continue to keep people safe while protecting the vulnerable and still keep your doors open.
In a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Blondin announced that the gym would host a peaceful protest Saturday.
“All are welcome to come protest, train, and fight for our rights. This is a free entry to our protest area, and you must have a protest sign with you throughout your workout and this can say any type of thing that you believe in,” Blondin told his followers.