Photos and article by Frost McGahey
March 20. 2021- On a sunny Saturday morning people gathered at the corner of Highway 180 and Swan to protest Governor Lujan Grisham's year-long lockdown. Honking horns and thumbs up from drivers encouraged the protesters.
Rebekah Stevens, one of the co-sponsors of the event, when asked why she was protesting, she said, "All businesses are essential, not just what the government decrees. Wal-Mart, CVS, and Albertson's are thriving while the Mom and Pop businesses are dying. The stress on the elderly and the kids has been tremendous. I know the virus is real, but let me be clear. We are adults and can take common sense procedures to protect ourselves. This lockdown is being used by Grisham to control us.
Another organizer and retired RN, John Foldan said, "I know so many people who are stressed out about wearing masks, and they don't have to." Foldan is with the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance and felt compelled to stand up against the lockdown.
The mood was upbeat and positive with one exception. One driver yelled, "Go Home." A petite, grey-haired protester yelled back, "Bleep You."
Peter Burrows said he was protesting because, "The lockdown is unscientific, and not necessary. Look at the difference in approach between Florida and California. Pretty much the same outcomes for the virus in terms of cases and deaths, but life is getting back to normal for the people in Florida. The governor, Ron DeSantis, has lifted the mask mandate because he knows it's not effective. It's like keeping a mosquito out using chicken wire."
More honking of horns in support. A Golden Retriever wearing a red/white/blue bandana is brought to the gathering by his owner. Dog hair wafts in the breeze.
Richard Miller, Grant County Republican Party President, holds a sign that reads Lockdowns are UnAmerican and states, "I'm here to support Rebekah because it's time to end the lockdown. New Mexico is last in education, health, and the economy. This lockdown is the worst thing the governor could have done to our state. I will do everything I can do to end this."
Charles Hibberd's sign reads Keep Schools Open. "I'm a committed conservative, and I needed to do something to end this lockdown. People need to get off their butts and push back."