SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Saturday the streets around the Oregon state capitol building were packed with people. The all gathered with signs and flags in hand to call on Oregon Governor Kate Brown to reopen the state and lift COVID-19 restrictions.
More than a thousand people gathered for the “Reopen Oregon” rally. From late morning to early afternoon cars and trucks honked their horns at those standing on the sidewalks.
“We’re plowing through our savings and how are we going to put food on the table,” Manulani Lopes of Troutdale said. She was just one of those protesting the state closures.
She says many people she knows have felt the impacts of the COVID-19 restrictions.
“It is our right to work, we have that right to work,” Lopes said. “Americans are smart, we know how to take care of ourselves and our families we will take precautions.”
Terry Lopes told Fox12 she has felt the impacts as well. She runs a private daycare and has had to drastically reduce the number of people she can see.
“I have went from 9 children down to three because we got closed down,” Teri Lopes said. “I am out two thirds of my pay a month and I am the sole provider for my family it is hard.”
For several hours the parade of cars and cheering from the side of the street went on. Air12 was flying overhead and did catch a small scuffle and several people with guns strapped to them.
On the steps of the capitol building several healthcare workers had gathered with a different message.
“It is disappointing to see so many people disregarding human life it is really sad,” one woman said.
They say they know what the virus can do and want to see it come to an end. However, they want to see the state open when it is safe to do so.
“Our message is that we want to open, but we want it to open safely and we don’t want people to die,” Harriett Martin said.
Nearly 24-hours before Saturday’s protest in Salem, Oregon’s Governor laid out a framework for certain counties with few or no cases of the virus to begin reopening.
Currently a handful of counties are working on plans to submit to the Governor’s Office. If those plans are approved, they may begin reopening gradually on May 15th.
FOX 12 reached out to Governor’s Office for comment on Saturday’s protest, but has not heard back.
Both Oregon State Police and Salem Police say no issues from the rally have been reported to them.
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