RALEIGH, N.C. — More than a thousand demonstrators gathered in Raleigh on Tuesday to protest in favor of reopening the state of North Carolina immediately.
Tuesday’s march on Governor Roy Coopers executive mansion follows three consecutive weeks of rallies in the state’s capitol city.
In Tuesday’s march, four people were arrested outside the governor’s mansion.
Many of those in the crowd have lost their businesses or their jobs.
They want to push the governor toward reopening,so they can go back to work and make a living.
Among those in the crowd was Anna, the owner of Threads Boutique in Greensboro.
Her business is among the hundreds of others Greensboro that had to close.
“I don’t believe this is America anymore. If you want to stay home, you have the right. If I want to go to work and make the American dream happen for me, that’s my right,” she said.
Her sister, Emily Hamilton, is in that same boat. She owns Luxe Salon Suites in Greensboro and also had to close down.
She said she feels betrayed by Governor Cooper.
“Give us our chance to work. Governor Cooper took our rights away for four weeks before he gave us a chance, as small business people, to apply for unemployment. How fair is that, people?” Emily said.
While their voices were heard, healthcare professionals’ actions were seen. They stood silently across from protesters as a reminder of the risk that COVID-19 presents.
“It does frustrate me,” explained retired nurse Michael Cary.
He watched the rally play out from his TV
“The fact that they could…one person in the crowd could infect a whole bunch of people, and maybe one person does not live because of it,” Cary said.
He said he and others who support the stay-at-home order understand what people are going through. However, they fear that if the state reopen too quickly, it could lead to another shutdown.
“Step back, take a deep breath and re-think the whole process. We will get there eventually,” he said.