More protests urging Tennessee to reopen expected at capitol

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Amid the ongoing debate about when to reopen parts of the economy, some people came out to demonstrate their views in downtown Nashville this past weekend.

Protesters are expected to again gather at the capitol and call on Governor Bill Lee to reopen Tennessee’s economy.

Protest organizers said they recognize the impact of the virus but add the decision to remain on lockdown could be even more deadly.

The demonstrators will wear brown to show support to “end the lock down” and said they will be following social distancing guidelines.

This will be the second protest outside the capitol this week after Sunday’s demonstration where protesters honked horns and held signs in hopes of getting the governor’s attention.

Coronavirus protests
(Photo: WKRN)

Organizer Chris Matheson said it was a peaceful demonstration.

“Everyone has been extremely responsible, we have not shut down any roads, we’ve not had any violence, we’ve not had any littering or vandalism of that sort. Everyone here is an American who just wants to be free. This is not COVID 1984 guys. It is time for Bill Lee to open up Tennessee,” explained Matheson.

“I encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions you feel you need to take, but when the government starts to mandate what you do and threaten to fine you or arrest you or bankrupt you if you are a business owner, that’s when it crosses the line.”

A number of other states across the country have seen protests of their own.

Governor Lee has promised to reopen Tennessee’s economy in May but said it will happen in phases. An economic task force is reviewing and finalizing the reopening plan.

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