On Friday, a sizeable group of grassroots organizers and concerned citizens gathered at Civic Plaza in Albuquerque to stand up for working families hurting by the Governor’s closure of the state.
Citizens’ signs read things such as “My Small Business Matters,” “Re-Open New Mexico,” and “Fear is the Real Virus” with much support in the form folks driving by, honking their horns in agreement.
“We can do this in a safe manner. We can open up small businesses, and all businesses in the state, to operate just like the big box stores, with proper safety practices, proper social distancing,” one of the organizers, Kai Sandoval told KOB 4 News.
“I have a small business and my business deals with essential oils, plants, flowers and so for me and my business it is hard because everything is closed. The way I promote my business is by going out and showing people letting them try out what I have,” Nevaeh Aguilar Rivera told KRQE 13 News.
On the Facebook event for the rally, organizers wrote, “Folks can be on foot or stay in their vehicles. If on foot, masks and gloves are necessary, we don’t want to give any ammo to MLG or her cohorts to use as reasoning not to reopen NM immediately!” It appears all attendees followed the rules, and were careful to follow precautions while demonstrating.
Despite the great care organizers and citizens put into peacefully and effectively lifting up working families and small businesses during their demonstration, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham shot off a statement ridiculing the concerned citizens for calling on her to reopen New Mexico.
Her statement reads, “Mass gatherings are dangerous and in violation of the public health order. We want any New Mexican who is upset about the state’s efforts to limit illness and prevent mass death to find safe and non-dangerous ways to exercise their first amendment right to protest, one of many rights we are all grateful to have, none of which are infringed upon by the necessary actions the state has taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of New Mexicans. New Mexicans must continue to stay home in order to slow the spread of this incredibly contagious virus – there is no way to safely reopen the state without first doing so.”
Another demonstration outside of the Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Mansion also took place in Santa Fe.