Marshall residents protest Gov. Abbott’s mask mandate, coronavirus closures

Texarkana

MARSHALL, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Some people are banding together in east Texas in opposition to government orders surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

A group of people in Marshall is saying Texas Governor Greg Abbott has gone too far.

“Forced business closures, mask mandates, stay-at-home orders – anything of that liking is tyranny,” said Blayne Hayes, protest organizer. “And that’s what we’re standing up against and that’s our message.”

They’re protesting measures meant to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state, instead saying people can take care of themselves.

Hayes said he’s not concerned about catching COVID-19 and he doesn’t know anyone personally who’s been sick.

“Government should not force someone else to protect someone else’s health, because it’s your responsibility,” said Hayes.

The protestors said it’s not government’s place to force compliance of mandated measures, but instead suggest recommendations for the health and safety of all.

“We, as Americans, should not have all of our rights taken from us,” said Tee Allen Parker. “This is not a Communist country.”

Parker is a bar owner, whose business is now closed per governor’s order. She’s the lead plantiff suing Gov. Abbott over the COVID-related closrue of all bars in the state.

“I have absolutely no way to make a living whatsoever,” she said. “People keep focusing on, ‘it’s a bar.’ It’s not a bar, there’s humans that work in that bar.”

Parker said people have a right to earn a living and make their own decisions regarding their personal well-being.

“I believe if you want to wear a mask, you wear a mask,” she said. “If you don’t want to wear a mask, then you don’t wear a mask.”

They said the group gathering is a grassroots effort to save their civil liberties.

“We have to stand together and there’s only one choice, and that’s to open America back up,” said Parker.

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