Hundreds of protesters return to Augusta calling on officials to reopen Maine

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Augusta again Saturday calling for the reopening of Maine. People rallying lined the streets between the State House and the Blaine House, holding signs and chanting as cars passed by. Undoubtedly, protesters were heard. Drivers of cars and trucks leaned on their horns while passing the Blaine House for hours during the afternoon. But the scores of people who rallied say they want Gov. Mills to listen. Despite possible health risks, Angela Corbin of Hallowell believes attending the rally is a matter of liberty. She wants the stay at home order lifted. “I think it is my job to take care of myself and to take care of my own health and it is the government’s job to exercise and protect our rights and that’s not happening right now,” Corbin said. Peter Guidi said the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors to Maine is devastating to his Old Orchard Beach hotel.“Facing imminent bankruptcy with rules that are absolutely impossible for our guests to understand coming to Maine and it’s not just us,” said Guidi. Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage arrived at the rally in a car with Florida plates. That’s where he currently resides. LePage addressed protesters from his car by calling in to a parking lot rally.“This is outrageous. We need to fight back,” he said, as attendees listened over loudspeakers. In an April radio interview, LePage said he would “challenge” Mills in 2022. We asked if he’s really running again. He did not respond to the question but also may not have heard due to the level of noise. We reached out to the office of Mills and the Maine CDC for comment on Saturday’s protest. Neither immediately responded. Social distancing was not widely practiced. Masks were sparse. Protesters we spoke with believe, even with restriction rollbacks, the state’s safety measures compromise their constitutional rights. “You hear the anger. There is anger out and about. People in Maine have been without jobs for a very long time now. You have people on unemployment for over 7 weeks, they have not received their first check yet. These people have families that they need to provide for and they’re legally not allowed to,” said one woman who drove from Houlton with her adult children. What’s not clear is if the gathering was permitted. The city requires permits for gatherings of more than 200. Augusta Police Chief Jared Mills did not immediately return a phone call for more information. Police at the protest did not report any problems.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Augusta again Saturday calling for the reopening of Maine. People rallying lined the streets between the State House and the Blaine House, holding signs and chanting as cars passed by.

WMTW-TV

Terry Stackhouse

Advertisement

Undoubtedly, protesters were heard. Drivers of cars and trucks leaned on their horns while passing the Blaine House for hours during the afternoon. But the scores of people who rallied say they want Gov. Mills to listen.

Despite possible health risks, Angela Corbin of Hallowell believes attending the rally is a matter of liberty. She wants the stay at home order lifted.

“I think it is my job to take care of myself and to take care of my own health and it is the government’s job to exercise and protect our rights and that’s not happening right now,” Corbin said.

WMTW-TV

Terry Stackhouse

Peter Guidi said the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors to Maine is devastating to his Old Orchard Beach hotel.

“Facing imminent bankruptcy with rules that are absolutely impossible for our guests to understand coming to Maine and it’s not just us,” said Guidi.

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage arrived at the rally in a car with Florida plates. That’s where he currently resides. LePage addressed protesters from his car by calling in to a parking lot rally.

“This is outrageous. We need to fight back,” he said, as attendees listened over loudspeakers.

In an April radio interview, LePage said he would “challenge” Mills in 2022. We asked if he’s really running again. He did not respond to the question but also may not have heard due to the level of noise.

We reached out to the office of Mills and the Maine CDC for comment on Saturday’s protest. Neither immediately responded.

WMTW-TV

Terry Stackhouse

Social distancing was not widely practiced. Masks were sparse. Protesters we spoke with believe, even with restriction rollbacks, the state’s safety measures compromise their constitutional rights.

“You hear the anger. There is anger out and about. People in Maine have been without jobs for a very long time now. You have people on unemployment for over 7 weeks, they have not received their first check yet. These people have families that they need to provide for and they’re legally not allowed to,” said one woman who drove from Houlton with her adult children.

WMTW-TV

Terry Stackhouse

What’s not clear is if the gathering was permitted. The city requires permits for gatherings of more than 200. Augusta Police Chief Jared Mills did not immediately return a phone call for more information. Police at the protest did not report any problems.