Opponents of state’s stay-at-home order protest outside Blaine House

Hundreds of people opposed to Maine’s stay-at-home order rallied outside the Blaine House and State House in Augusta Saturday afternoon.This was the third rally to protest the stay-at-home order implemented in response to the coronavirus outbreak.It comes a day after Stage 1 of Gov. Janet Mills’ plan to reopen the Maine economy took effect.Businesses allowed to reopen under Stage 1 included, but were not limited to: barbershops, hair salons, pet grooming, drive-in movie theaters, auto dealerships and car washes. Expanded activities included restricted use of golf and disc golf courses, guided outdoor activities, state-owned public land trails and historic sites. Coastal state parks remain closed.Protesters argued the slow reopening of the Maine economy is killing businesses.“Hoping that these mandates are gonna change, and, you know, people in our same position will be able to survive the summer,” Machias business owner Martha Cummings said.People lined the sidewalks outside the Blaine House and State House. There was also a caravan of vehicles. Some protesters said closed businesses don’t have any more time to wait to reopen.“The biggest message is that we believe we need to work on this problem together. It can’t be one person’s decision, and that we need to get Mainers back to work,” Victoria Vucklin, of Appleton, said.Mills addressed their frustration during a news conference on Friday. Mills said she is open to suggestions from all people, but also said public health remains the No. 1 priority.”We know the virus plays no favorites, it doesn’t take political sides, it is an equal opportunity destroyer,” Mills said.Rick Savage, the owner of Sunday River Brewing Company who defied the stay-at-home order Friday by reopening his restaurant to dine-in customers, attended Saturday’s the rally. The state pulled his health license in response to his reopening. That also triggered the suspension of his liquor license.

Hundreds of people opposed to Maine’s stay-at-home order rallied outside the Blaine House and State House in Augusta Saturday afternoon.

This was the third rally to protest the stay-at-home order implemented in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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It comes a day after Stage 1 of Gov. Janet Mills’ plan to reopen the Maine economy took effect.

Businesses allowed to reopen under Stage 1 included, but were not limited to: barbershops, hair salons, pet grooming, drive-in movie theaters, auto dealerships and car washes. Expanded activities included restricted use of golf and disc golf courses, guided outdoor activities, state-owned public land trails and historic sites. Coastal state parks remain closed.

Protesters argued the slow reopening of the Maine economy is killing businesses.

“Hoping that these mandates are gonna change, and, you know, people in our same position will be able to survive the summer,” Machias business owner Martha Cummings said.

People lined the sidewalks outside the Blaine House and State House. There was also a caravan of vehicles.

Some protesters said closed businesses don’t have any more time to wait to reopen.

“The biggest message is that we believe we need to work on this problem together. It can’t be one person’s decision, and that we need to get Mainers back to work,” Victoria Vucklin, of Appleton, said.

Mills addressed their frustration during a news conference on Friday. Mills said she is open to suggestions from all people, but also said public health remains the No. 1 priority.

“We know the virus plays no favorites, it doesn’t take political sides, it is an equal opportunity destroyer,” Mills said.

Rick Savage, the owner of Sunday River Brewing Company who defied the stay-at-home order Friday by reopening his restaurant to dine-in customers, attended Saturday’s the rally.

The state pulled his health license in response to his reopening. That also triggered the suspension of his liquor license.