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One Arrested as Raleigh, NC Police Suspend First Amendment; Declare Coronavirus Lockdown Protest “Non-Essential Activity”

Raleigh, North Carolina police suspended the First Amendment Tuesday, dispersing a protest against the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus lockdown and arresting one protester for failing to disperse. The police issued a statement declaring “Protesting is a non-essential activity” that was in violation of an executive order by Governor Roy Cooper (D) prohibiting mass gatherings.
 

I wanted to believe this was a joke or a hoax - @raleighpolice calling a protest a “non-essential activity” and arresting someone for speaking out against the state’s lockdown. But it is as real as Stalin.
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Some protesters gathered in their cars, honking theor horns in unison at 15 minute intervals.
As @raleighpolice & @NCLeg GA Police get involved, some shout of “tyranny, “Gestapo” & “Comrade @NC_Governor.” Despite increase in volume, protest still peaceful. There are several families and school aged children here as well. @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @ABC
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My educated guess is about 75-100 people now, with about half in their cars. Every 15 minutes or do demonstrators let loose with their horns. @ABC11_WTVD @ABC - @ABCPolitics
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Video of police ordering protesters to disperse under threat of arrest.
My educated guess is about 75-100 people now, with about half in their cars. Every 15 minutes or do demonstrators let loose with their horns. @ABC11_WTVD @ABC - @ABCPolitics
UPDATE: @raleighpolice appears to be closing streets around @NCLeg. Officers now warning the demonstration violates @NC_Governor order & public health orders. Two warnings now that arrests will soon begin. @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @ABC
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UPDATE: @raleighpolice appears to be closing streets around @NCLeg. Officers now warning the demonstration violates @NC_Governor order & public health orders. Two warnings now that arrests will soon begin. @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @ABC
Third & final @raleighpolice warning appears to working as much of the crowd disperses. @WakeSheriff prison transports also arriving now, as officers also start walking through the parking lot and going to car to car. @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @ABC
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Third & final @raleighpolice warning appears to working as much of the crowd disperses. @WakeSheriff prison transports also arriving now, as officers also start walking through the parking lot and going to car to car. @ABC11_WTVD @ABCPolitics @ABC
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NEW: At least one person now under arrest by @raleighpolice for refusing to leave demonstration outside @ncleg. At its height, there were probably 100+ people at the tailgate-style rally. @ABC11_WTVD @ABC @ABCPolitics
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Section 1 3.iii allows outdoor activity for exercise activities within restrictions of Section 3.
Section 3 defines mass gatherings indoors or outdoors as ten or more people with limited exceptions that apparently do not include the exercise of First Amendment rights.
More than 100 protesters rallied in downtown Raleigh to reopen North Carolina on Tuesday, describing Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-home order as an unconstitutional overreach that will kill the state’s small businesses.
At least one protester, Monica Faith Ussery, 51, of Holly Springs, was charged with violating the executive order.
“I have a right to peacefully assemble,” she said as officers led her away, her hands bound with a zip tie. “God bless America.”…
…The protest was organized by ReopenNC, a private Facebook group organized last week that wants people to make their own stay-at-home decisions to avoid exposure to COVID-19 as the worldwide pandemic continues. The group surpassed 28,000 members on Tuesday afternoon…
…Tuesday’s protest reached its third round of honks at 11:45 a.m. as protesters vowed to continue for hours.
But at roughly 12:30 p.m., police asked protesters to disperse.
“You are in violation of the executive order,” said a police captain. “You are posing a risk to public health. If you do not disperse, you will be taken and processed at Wake County jail.” 

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