Minnesota Citizens Protest Shutdown Again Outside Govs’s Mansion

Protestors said they want to see the economy reopened, and say that Governor Walz has acted beyond his authority amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of protestors congregated in front of Governor Tim Walz’s executive mansion, Thursday, to protest Minnesota’s thrice extended economic shutdowns.

The demonstration began around noon, as concerned citizens lined the street outside the governor’s mansion holding protest signs and flags as vehicles adorned with anti-shutdown messages drove slowly down Summit Avenue in St. Paul. Those in attendance aimed to express their displeasure with how Walz has handled Minnesota’s COVID-19 response.

Walz’s original economic shutdown orders were only intended to last 10 days beginning March 17. On Wednesday night, the governor declared his second extension to his emergency orders, mandating that restaurants, bars, barbers and salons remain closed through July 1 instead of March 18, the previous end date for the shutdowns. This means that owners of such establishments and their employees will be without income for 77 days— over 20% of the year.

As the crowds grew, Alpha News began a Facebook livestream, interviewing those in attendance about why they chose to rally.

Many Minnesotans interviewed on the live stream said they decided to protest after being personally affected by the frozen economy. One retail worker said she’s been without income for about 6 weeks. Several business owners said their enterprise’s path path to recovery is unclear.

This concern is shared by thousands of other entrepreneurs across the state. Over half of Minnesota’s hospitality related industry is expected to close permanently, according to Hospitality Minnesota. This could mean the destruction of over 145,500 jobs.

Alpha News also spoke with State Representative Jeremy Munson at the protest who said that Walz needs to return the authority to craft policy to the Legislature.

In addition to holding signs and discussing how shutdown orders have impacted the state, protestors also heard from speakers who raised concerns about the constitutionality of the governor’s actions and lead the crowd in singing the National Anthem.

Just before the demonstration subsided around 2:00PM, citizens penned their messages to Walz on beach balls and empty cardboard boxes before launching them over the fence that surrounds the executive mansion.

Thursday’s rally marks the fourth time Minnesotans have taken to the streets in opposition to their leaders’ coronavirus response. Three of the previous demonstrations have occurred outside Walz’s mansion while another took place in front of the State Capitol.