A few wore masks, but social distancing was impossible for the hoard of protesters that paraded downtown Tuesday demanding the state economy reopen despite the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic. The crowd of about a thousand looped around the state capital—violating Governor Roy Cooper’s mandate that North Carolinians stay home to avoid spreading the virus—waving flags, chanting stuff about “freedom,” and heckling anyone that got in the way. 

Congressman Dan Bishop was among the protesters, many of whom wore MAGA gear and held signs and banners praising President Donald Trump. It honestly wasn’t all that different from a MAGA rally. 

#ReopenNC, which started as a Facebook group a few weeks ago, has grown into a full-fledged political mob.  Police allowed the protesters to march down Jones Street, loop around the legislature and circle down Salisbury Street, escorting them on motorcycles. 

It’s unclear if anyone was arrested. The officers wore masks and gloves. Most of the protesters did not. 

“More people die in car accidents!” a coronavrius truther shouted from the sidewalk. He screamed something about Nancy Pelosi before returning to his car. 

Some of the protesters signs expressed anti-vaccination sentiments, while others proclaim “my body, my choice.” Most focused on the economy.

“Economic terrorism,” read one woman’s sign. “Release the hostages. Open NC.” 

On Jones Street, the truthers were met by several counter-protesters in scrubs, including medical student Carrie Shropshire, who said she came down to show support for healthcare workers. 

“I’m in disbelief honestly,” Shropshire said in scrubs and a facemask. “It’s outright disregard for the thousands of lives being lost.”

As of Tuesday, the state confirmed nearly 7,000 cases of the virus and 213 deaths. 

Contact Raleigh editor Leigh Tauss at ltauss@indyweek.com.

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One reply on “Hundreds of Coronavirus Truthers Protest in Downtown Raleigh”

  1. It is incorrect to use the term “truth” or any variant of it when making reference to these #ReOpen ding-dong dumbasses.

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