About 50 people gathered in opposition to the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order Tuesday to protest what they say is an infringement of their Constitutional rights.
The protest took place May 19 outside McDonald’s in Port Townsend and featured a slew of American flags and signs that read “Open up the County” and “We can Open Safely.”
The rally was organized via Facebook through an event page titled “Freedom Rally Reopen Jefferson County.” It was created by Danielle Galmukoff, owner of Glamour Girl Salon in Port Townsend.
It was advertised as a nonpartisan event, and attendees were asked to not bring campaign signs.
Participants cheered and yipped for honking cars and one woman sang the national anthem. Candidates for state elections passed out flyers and shook ungloved hands. Social distancing and mask-wearing was at a minimum. Several attendees commuted from Port Angeles.
Madison Guthrie, who grew up in Jefferson County, said she attended the rally because she believes the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order violates the U.S. Constitution. This comes as state supreme courts across the nation are overturning similar orders in other states.
A lawsuit in federal court against Gov. Jay Inlsee was filed this month alleging the same charges.
Guthrie said she doesn’t believe the hype surrounding the coronavirus and feels people are scared for no reason. The shutdown has put her out of work, and she wants Jefferson County to reopen restaurants so can go back to work.
Melisa Hostler of Port Ludlow attended the rally with her two daughters Arabella, 11, and Zalea, 9. Hostler said she was protesting government overreach. She said she feels the people of Washington have done what was asked of them already, and that the continued extension of the stay-home order with no end in sight is not sustainable.
“The goalposts keep moving when this is not as much of a crisis as we were told,” Hostler said.