Organizers share what to expect at ReOpen PA protest

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — ReOpen PA is holding its second protest at the Capitol at noon Friday. The group claims the Governor is abusing his power and says it’s time for him to work more closely with legislators.

“There are always risks in life but unfortunately right now, a lot of people are dying,” said Matt Bellis of ReOpen PA. “A lot of people are committing suicide. There’s depression. There’s loneliness. There’s all kind of factors coming out of this lockdown that make it necessary for us to let to the Governor know that he has to work with the General Assembly again.”

The group says Governor Tom Wolf has been acting under a law meant for disaster relief to lock everyone in and lock down resources.

Organizers want him to collaborate with elected officials on ways to responsibly reopen the state.

They admit there is a risk of people getting the virus by going to the event, and say they don’t necessarily want to protest, but it’s something they feel they’re now forced to do.

At the last protest, you saw large crowds of people, many of which were not wearing masks. ReOpen PA says it is up to those participating to decide if they will or will not do so Friday.

“We’re requesting people take in social distancing as much as possible,” said Bellis. “Unfortunately, the last time we protested, Capitol Police kind of cornered us off into one area which made it impossible to practice that social distancing. So, we’re trying to let everybody know to be as responsible and safe as possible.”

The Governor has made it clear: his reopening plan in data-driven and is meant to keep Pennsylvanians safe and healthy.

“Every time one person does it or one business does it, and to the extent that multiplies, then that does start to get into hampering the efforts to contain this virus,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The goal here is not to come up with some arbitrary figure. It’s to say ‘ok in our best estimate what is it that we can do to keep people safe.'”

Starting at 8 a.m., barricades will be placed at the following intersections, plus others as needed:

  • 2nd & North
  • 2nd & Briggs
  • Forster & Susquehanna
  • Forster & Green
  • Third & North
  • Forster & Penn

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