A group of "hundreds" of people protested at the state capitol in Annapolis, Maryland on Saturday, calling on Republican Governor Larry Hogan to reopen the state in May, according to numerous local reports.
According to WTTG-TV, the "Reopen Maryland" group called the protests "Operation Gridlock Annapolis," and drove cars slowly around the capitol beginning at noon on Saturday.
Video taken by people who were present showed numerous cars honking, many of them with Trump 2020 flags, as well as a number of protesters who marched along on foot.
Many people on foot have joined the steam of cars around the state circles https://t.co/a0t9PPD9bD— Lilly Price (@Lilly Price)1587228805.0
The protests mirrored similar protests that have happened in Michigan, Virginia, and other places this week. The "Reopen Maryland" Facebook group was opened about a week ago, and according to WTTG, grew to over 15,000 members in less than a week.
The organizers are pushing Hogan to reopen businesses, schools and churches as soon as April is over. Group member Evie Harris, who is a registered nurse, told WTTG, "We're aduls, we're Americans. We know how to self-modulate ourselves. We don't need our government banning us from our livelihoods. Too many households and families across the country and in Maryland have been devastated."
Governor Hogan, meanwhile, indicated in a press conference earlier this week that the Maryland state government has made plans to start a post-coronavirus recovery, but he also noted that the state's COVID-19 numbers were continuing to rise.
Maryland instituted a "stay at home" order effective March 30, 2020, and the penalties for violating that order are among the strictest in the country, including up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The organizers for the Maryland protest promised that protesters would follow applicable social distancing guidelines, unlike other protests that occurred earlier this week, most notably in Virginia.
However, early local reports did not indicate that police were arresting protesters, even though the very protest itself seemed to violate Governor Hogan's orders.