Thousands Descend On Virginia Capital To Protest Stay-At-Home Order
Richmond, VA – Protesters amassed in Richmond again on Wednesday to continue their protest against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order.
As compared to the protest a week ago, many of the protesters who showed up in Richmond on April 22 stayed in their cars, decorated with signs, and honked continuously to demonstrate their disapproval of the governor’s executive order, WSET reported.
Thousands of cars began descending on the state capitol early Wednesday morning for the “drive-in rally” and the protest achieved its goal of total gridlock in Richmond early in the day.
The protest was organized by a group called “Reopen Virginia,” WSLS reported.
“If we don't come together now to get this economy back open and running and healthy, we could very well not have an economy at all when we decide to do it,” protest organizer David Britt said.
Britt said it was understandable that the governor was concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, but he said Northam also needed to worry about the health of Virginia’s economy, WSLS reported.
“We have to move past the fear and start working with rationality and with reason and logic and facts and the facts show that it's time. We need to be working to reopen this economy sooner rather than later,” he said.
Cars, trucks, and repurposed military vehicles flying American flags and Trump 2020 flags slowly crept around Capitol Square sporting signs that read “Reopen Virginia, Shut Down Northam” and “It’s The Constitution, Not Toilet Paper,” FOX News reported.
On Wednesday morning, Northam disputed rumors reported in the media that he had been traveling via private plane to his home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina despite stay-at-home orders in both states, WSET reported.
"This is a fact: Gov. Northam has been working on behalf of Virginians seven days a week and has not left Virginia since stay at home orders have been in place. Anything else is a lie. People spread lies all the time for political gain and they should be ashamed of themselves," the governor's office said in a statement released on April 22.
On Tuesday, Northam called protesters “selfish,” and said their actions jeopardized health care workers, according to Politico.
“I'm just as anxious as anybody else to open up our economy,” he said. “We don't need protesters to encourage me and anybody else to ease these restrictions.”