A group of protestors gathered at Five Corners on a cold and windy afternoon Wednesday for the “freedom and liberty to work” rally holding American flags and signs saying “I want to buy local” and “Thank you hospital.”
The number of protestors hovered around 10 as people came and stood peacefully in support of the rally to reopen businesses.
Kenny MacDonald, who helped organize the rally with Jamie and Robbie Douglas before they pulled out of the event and decided not to attend, ended up joining the protest, holding a sign that said, “All jobs are essential.” The Douglas brothers are part of the family that owns the Black Dog restaurant, cafe, and retail shops, which faced a backlash from the event.
The rally comes on the heels of similar events across the country in Michigan, Ohio, and a smaller event at the Bourne Rotary Sunday, urging the government to end stay-at-home orders and business closures.
Chris DeMello, a landscaper, said it was important for people to be safe but equally as important for them to keep working.
“We have to try and find that sweet spot of keeping people safe,” DeMello said. “The economy can’t stay down forever.”
Jason Cray, an Oak Bluffs carpenter who was wearing a Trump hat, held a large American flag and a sign saying “liberty, freedom, work, socialism sucks!”
Cray, who is also an Iraq war veteran, said he didn’t want anyone to be sick, but the economy could be hurt.
“We’ve got to fight for people’s right to feed their families,” he said. “You shut down an economy — it’s economic suicide.”