Buh Bye, First Amendment: Raleigh Police Declare Protest Against Stay at Home Orders a 'Non-Essential Activity'

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File

FILE – In this March 28, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles police officers patrol a sparsely populated Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles. At least three police officers in California have died so far from COVID-19 and officers have been urged to wear masks when they are interacting with the public. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)


It’s pretty fair to say that while most people care about their neighbors and want to accord with the stay at home orders if they think it’s helpful to save people, people are also chafing at the bit over some Orwellian application of these rules, wanting to get out and go back to some semblance of normality.

From the Michigan governor’s ridiculous bans on things from infant car seats to seeds, that have earned her a petition for a recall with more than 200,000 signatures to writing down the license plates of folks who have gone to a church service and some people leaving nails in the parking lot to punish the people who went, people are voicing concerns.

On top of the rules, you have folks snitching out their neighbors in a “Karen” explosion. As my colleague Kira Davis reported, New Jersey has started using drones to harass citizens not obeying social distancing orders. In Brighten, CO a father and his young daughter were approached by police after someone reported them for playing soccer in an open field. On top of that, a Boise mayor even came up with a social distancing snitch line.

People are tired and some are organizing protests against the more stringent shutdown orders.

It does sound like some governors and the president are working toward opening things up soon.

But it gets more than a little problematic when the police don’t seem to understand the Constitution, as a group of protesters found out today in Raleigh, North Carolina.


The people were protesting the stay at home orders.

From the News Observer:

Many said the stay-home requirements will hurt more than help.

“I know what isolation does to people,” said Kerry Thomas, a psychotherapist from Cary. “I know what failing businesses do to people.”

Dennis Burgard said he has traveled from Jacksonville to downtown Raleigh for three straight Tuesdays and plans to continue, sitting in his pickup and displaying a sign that reads “Gov. Cooper, your orders are destroying small business people.”

He said he fears that only large corporations and drive-through businesses will survive the stay-home order.

“What we’ll lose are all the small businesses that were handed down for generations,” he said.

The police declared that protesting was a “non-essential activity” and shut it down, arresting at least one person.



Police were asked how the protesters were violating the Governor’s order and their answer will be the thing of lawsuits to come.

There it is, folks. You wondered how that could be done, that’s how. Wave of a wand. For our own good, of course. The First Amendment is no longer “essential.” Because our betters tell us so. Whatever you think of the order or the people’s reaction to it, that is a non-starter. Paging Bill Barr, this is one of those situations you were talking about.

People from both sides of the aisle weighed in.



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