Protesters rally against mask mandate, restrictions outside Ala. Capitol

Protesters rally against mask mandate, restrictions outside Ala. Capitol
Protesters rallied against coronavirus restrictions outside the state Capitol on Sept. 7, 2020. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Dozens of people rallied on the state Capitol steps Monday afternoon to urge state leaders to get rid of some restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group Alabama Liberty Action put on “The Open Alabama Movement” rally downtown.

“We’re just we’re here to remind the people that we the people rule the government, not the government rules us,” organizer Kam Ouellette said. “And we’re here to make a statement to our state officials and local officials.”

Rally-goers said they wanted to have the choice on whether to wear a mask or not.

“I’m not against people if they want to wear a mask, but it does not need to be mandatory because you’re going against people’s medical freedom and medical choice,” Jason Reid, who helped put together the rally, said.

Reid said people are not noticing the other ramifications lockdowns have on mental health.

“What’s not being reported on enough is the mental psychological effects and emotional effects of the isolation of the lockdowns of the separation because everybody needs community,” he said. “The bible says it is not good for man to be alone.”

He along with other people present want to see a reversal of the mask mandate and restrictions on businesses.

“Disease and sickness have always been here, and it will always be as long as we live in this world and we cannot shut down the world and stop everything just because some new thing came out,” he said.

Many people traveled long distances to attend Monday.

“We’re letting ourselves get run over and that’s not what we should be doing,” said Gina Hardman. So, we’re just here to stand up for our rights. We want Alabama to open back up and we don’t want these ridiculous masks.”

“Everyone has the right to do what they want to do,” another attendee said.

Some people were not happy with Gov. Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Scott Harris calling the shots with the health orders without legislative approval.

“She’s not calling legislative sessions. It’s not going through the legislature,” Ouellette said. “Scott Harris is not an elected official and they’re trying to claim emergency powers when there is no emergency.”

Organizers said the rally is aimed at reminding people of the constitutional rights people have.

“We’ve gotten very far from these principles,” Ouellette said. “So, we’re here to just kind of start out with, hey, let’s remember where we came from and why this country was started.”

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