Protesters host rally in response to COVID-19 guidelines

Updated: May. 9, 2020 at 6:59 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - In the midst of COVID-19, Gov. Tate Reeves extended his safer-at-home order by two weeks with new restrictions in place as well as more reopenings.

As residents look ahead to the barbershops, hair salons and gyms now allowed to reopen, more than 100 people rallied in protest today at the Lighthouse Pier in response to orders and guidelines still in place due to COVID-19.

“We’re grownups here. We’re allowed to make our own risk assessments and what’s best for us, our families, our businesses. We don’t need somebody telling us what to do. Just because they’re giving us information on the media or from a podium doesn’t’ mean that’s all the information that’s out there,” said co-coordinator of the rally E. Brain Rose.

Notable speakers made their appearance, including Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson, and shared words that had the crowd cheering and clapping.

Protesters held their signs high and their flags even higher, showing off that they’re proud to be an American.

“Everything you do in America, you have the opportunity to protest, so you might as well stand up for what you believe," said protester Jack Gazzo.

Some people demanded an explanation for closing local business but not so much of corporate companies.

“You can go to Lowes and buy anything you want. You can go there and buy flowers, but the local flower shop can’t be open. That don’t make any sense to me. That’s corporate America taking over everything,” said protester Robert Patton.

Rose said the overall goal was to let people know they have freedoms that are guaranteed, and no one has the right to take them away.

Seeing that the gathering was of more than 20 people, WLOX reached out to Biloxi Police Chief John Miller. Chief Miller said the protesters were not breaking the law but chose not to follow the governor’s guidelines.

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