SPRINGFIELD – Hundreds met up at the Illinois State Capitol steps Friday, calling for Governor Pritzker to "Reopen Illinois."
Three women – Krystin Dodge, Kathryn Ballard and Erica Hafferty organized the rally which they said in a press release was to call for "a peaceable assembly to redress our grievances with how the government is disregarding our God-given rights in disregard of the protections against government provided for by the Constitution and our state laws."
Illinois State Representative Darren Bailey urged those attending to stand firm in their call to "reopen Illinois," and then led in prayer for the state and the people afflicted with COVID.
The organizers encouraged people to either stay in their cars or join the protest on the Capitol Steps.
"We firmly believe that business owners and all citizens of Illinois are capable of operating responsibly and in the best interest of themselves, employees and customers. Illinoisans should have the freedom to implement their own policies regarding customer contact," they said.
They said the governor has "trampled on our rights by going far beyond the lawful power of his office.
The group listed six reasons why Illinois should "reopen" on May 1:
- Nearly 500,000 Illinois workers have filed for unemployment compensation – forced upon them by Pritzker's executive orders
- Illinois citizens' livelihood have been "hit the hardest"
- Pritzker Administration has not formulated a plan to safely reopen despite weeks of shutdown
- Small non-essential businesses should be able to open as essentials have been all during the shutdown
- All businesses are "essential"
- Illinois should open safely in days, not weeks or months
Left is Krystin Dodge, then Kathryn Ballard, then Erica Hafferty (Photos credit: Austin Davies)