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Smaller Crowd Comes Out To Protest Gov. Little's COVID-19 Restrictions

Opponents of Gov. Brad Little’s phased reopening of the state held another rally this weekend at the Idaho State Capitol. But after many businesses were allowed to reopen Friday, the crowds at these events have been dwindling. 

Leading the rally was Boise Pastor Diego Rodriguez who has been at the forefront of resistance to Little’s orders to fight COVID-19. On Saturday he called the governor out again.

“We gather here today resisting the tyranny that we have faced here in the state of Idaho,” he said to applause.

Organizers promised thousands of attendees in a press release, but only about 250 showed up. That’s about half the crowd that showed up for a similar gathering two weeks ago. And another protest Friday drew barely thirty people. 

Almost none of the protesters wore masks or kept the social distance health experts recommend. Handshakes and hugs were the norm.

Many carried “Don’t Tread On Me” flags, a few carried guns, and several had signs calling COVID-19 a hoax.

A lone man in scrubs stood in silent protest. He carried a sign that read, “Believe Nurses.”

Despite similar protests in several states, a recent poll from Kaiser Family Foundation found eight in ten Americans support shelter in place guidelines.

But Rodriguez, through a bullhorn, told the crowd the stay-home order is unconstitutional.

“We're here because we have our rights have been violated and our rights have been trampled on,” he said.

And some prominent Idaho politicians, like Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin have also spoken out against shutdowns. McGeachin even traveled to Kendrick, in north-central Idaho this weekend to support brewery owners who opened in defiance of Little’s reopening plan.

More than 60,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, including more than 60 in Idaho. 

Follow Heath Druzin on Twitter, @HDruzin

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Heath Druzin was Boise State Public Radio’s Guns & America fellow from 2018-2020, during which he focused on extremist movements, suicide prevention and gun culture.