Honking horns by drivers circling State Circle in Annapolis on Saturday drove home the point that some Marylanders disagree with continuing Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan’s stay-at-home order due to COVID-19. The protest from noon to 2 p.m. was dubbed Operation Gridlock Annapolis and organized by ReOpen Maryland with the demand that the governor reopen the state by May 1.
Police reported no problems during the protest. Hogan has not responded to the event on his social media feeds.
The protesters made their point with signs that said, “We are all essential, reopen MD,” “Open up our churches, we need Communion,” and “Freedom over fear.” Some carried copies of the U.S. Constitution, others waved Trump 2020 or American flags.
Some people have spoken out against the initiative on the group’s Facebook page.
“Can’t have a economy, if your work force is dead…” wrote one commenter.
A Hogan supporter said, “OUR Governor is doing a great job. This Annapolis stunt is just a stunt.”
“Besides being a loss of jobs and vital tax revenue, a shuttered business is a shattered dream. We can preserve those dreams and protect our citizens,” said ReOpen Maryland spokesperson Caryn Abbott in a statement.
In a news conference Friday, Hogan said he was beginning to craft plans for the state’s recovery and reopening. But the state’s coronavirus case numbers continue to increase. He also ordered people to wear masks while shopping and using public transportation.
Other demonstrations calling for states to reopen were slated to take place over the weekend in Texas, Wisconsin, Idaho and Pennsylvania — after rallies earlier in the week in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.
To see the story by Deb Belt as it originally appeared on the website of our news partner, Patch.com, click here. Josh Kurtz of Maryland Matters contributed to this report.