SPRINGFIELD, Mo- Nearly 60 people gathered in downtown Springfield to rally against the statewide stay-at-home order Tuesday afternoon.
Protesters started at the square then marched down to city hall.
Participants said it was a way to urge state and local health officials to reopen Missouri and save small businesses. Many say they understand guidelines to wear masks and social distance, but order people to stay home is a violation of constitutional rights and liberty to work.
“We should have kept the country open. We should have stayed the course,” says Dean Taylor, the protest organizer.
“Our rights are being stripped from us every day during the virus. We understand that it is a danger, but we personally believe that a lot of it is false information, and they are using it to tear our constitutional rights down,” says protester Scott Reppart.
Dean Taylor says he and his wife organized this event to send a message to city and state officials.
“People are here to stand up and say, “you’re handling this wrong.” As our leaders, we’re expecting more out of you.”
Governor Mike Parson has extended the stay at home order until May 3rd, but protestors say they don’t want to wait another two weeks.
“It’s going to destroy our economy nationwide. We got to get back to work immediately.”
“For the most part, I think everyone wants it to open back up. I don’t know why May 3rd is the magic date. If it’s going to be safe on May 3rd, why not now.”
City and county leaders announced Tuesday that looser restrictions went into effect, but protesters say more should be done.
“I’m glad they are making those decisions, but just isn’t enough. They have to think of all the people. There’s the event industry; there’s the hospitality group, there’s so many people that are suffering.”
“More people need to be involved with the solutions other than just the health department and the doctors. I think that small business people, private business people, even the churches.”
Another protest is scheduled this Saturday at the Battlefield Mall.