Patriotic Protest: Rolling rally planned by businesses to open up Alaska again - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Patriotic Protest: Rolling rally planned by businesses to open up Alaska again

Several hundred Alaskans are saying they’ll be taking part in a “rolling rally” on Wednesday from noon to 2 pm to protest the extended government closure of Alaska businesses.

Organizers are members of a Facebook group called Open Alaska, where within just a few days over 3,200 people have joined. Many express dissatisfaction with the draconian measures taken by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz that have led to such policies as:

  • Pot stores in Anchorage remain open but flower stores have been shuttered.
  • Liquor stores are considered essential businesses by the municipality but churches have been forbidden to have services.
  • Anchorage shoppers can buy outdoor gear at Fred Meyer, Walmart or Costco, but cannot buy the same goods at Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, or B&J Sporting Goods.
  • Anchorage residents have been ordered to stay home unless they are conducting essential errands such as grocery shopping.
  • Drug vagrants appear essentially exempt from all health mandates.

On Wednesday, the ad hoc group will gather at the Loussac Library at noon and drive from midtown to downtown. The route is still being determined but will go along Fifth Avenue to L Street, back on Sixth Avenue and then along Seventh Avenue. Some participants said they will roll through the downtown route for two hours. Organizers have made it clear that all participants should follow all traffic laws and signage.

The event will start with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Although the crowd size will prevent most from being able to hear the opening prayer and pledge, you can tune into the Must Read Alaska Facebook Livestream at the start of the protest at the Must Read Alaska Facebook page. Must Read Alaska will also livestream from downtown between noon and 2 pm.

At the federal level, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department may take legal action against states that continue to impose unjustifiable “house arrest” restrictions on citizens.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, A.G. Barr said the burdens on civil liberties appear too great in some cases, and that if someone sued a state over hunker-down orders, the Justice Department would side with the citizens.

“The idea that you have to stay in your house is disturbingly close to house arrest. I’m not saying it wasn’t justified. I’m not saying in some places it might still be justified. But it’s very onerous, as is shutting down your livelihood,” Barr said.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • No easy answers or one size fits all solution for sure but along with my support for re opening parts of the economy comes that Oliver Wendell Holmes quote about the limit of “your” freedom.

  • This event will be most interesting to watch with MRA covering it and reporting what is happening and other new outlets trying to show the folks as a bunch of crazy’s

  • Quick somebody sue the State and Muni to put an end to this totalitarian BS!

  • The Tiny Tyrant, Fuhrer O’Berkowitz needs to be put on a one-way trip back to Californski or hell, either one is OK.

  • Stupid is as stupid does.

    • Hey now! Don’t dis the shrimp!

  • Here is part of what Barr said “Our federal constitutional rights don’t go away in an emergency. They constrain what the government can do…And in a circumstance like this, they put on the government the burden to make sure that whatever burdens it’s putting on our constitutional liberties are strictly necessary to deal with the problem. They have to be targeted. They have to use less intrusive means if they are equally effective in dealing with the problem. And that’s the situation we’re in today. We’re moving into a period where we have to do a better job of targeting the measures we’re deploying to deal with this virus.”
    .
    He continued “You know, the idea that you have to stay in your house is disturbingly close to house arrest…I’m not saying it wasn’t justified. I’m not saying in some places it might still be justified. But it’s very onerous, as is shutting down your livelihood. So these are very, very burdensome impingements on liberty, and we adopted them, we have to remember, for the limited purpose of slowing down the spread, that is bending the curve. … And we are now seeing that these are bending the curve, and now we have to come up with more targeted approaches.”
    .
    He went on, “Well, if people bring those lawsuits, we’ll take a look at it at that time. And if we think it’s, you know, justified, we would take a position…That’s what we’re doing now. We, you know, we’re looking carefully at a number of these rules that are being put into place. And if we think one goes too far, we initially try to jawbone the governors into rolling them back or adjusting them. And if they’re not and people bring lawsuits, we file [a] statement of interest and side with the plaintiffs…We do have a national economy which is the responsibility of the federal government. So it is possible that governors will take measures that impair interstate commerce. And just where that line is drawn, you know, remains to be seen,” Barr said. He added that so far he has not seen any violation of the Commerce Clause.
    .
    It’s worth noting that there are certain restrictions that are allowed during times like these, what Barr is referring to is overstepping those boundaries. A this point it seems that to almost any reasonable person the mayor of Los Anchorage is overstepping those boundaries. Governor Dunleavy has done a good job responding to this pandemic, our numbers are down and slowly easing restrictions is merited at this point.

    • Ed,
      While it’s fun to jump up and down and cry about liberty being lost, being knowledgeable on the subject does much more to further actual liberty than shouting fun slogans and broad generalities. On a previous article a couple days ago you said you thought your 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment rights were being taken away, I asked you how exactly your 4th and 5th Amendment rights were being taken away and you didn’t respond, can you please explain how your rights are being taken away? If you want anyone to understand your point of view you need to know what you are talking about and be able to express it. Just repeatedly saying liberty doesn’t mean anything unless you actually know what liberty is.
      .
      Due process is guaranteed under the Constitution, due process has given us laws that have been in place for over 100 years and passed the scrutiny and review of the courts up to and including the Supreme Court. AG Barr understands the law, people jumping up and down yelling liberty who cannot express what liberty actually is…well not so much.
      .
      I look forward to your explanation on how you are being deprived your 4th and 5th Amendment rights.

  • All the info you need. Look for #OpenAK on facebook. Godspeed, patriots!

  • The number of confirmed cases has increased. We have broken our downward trend. This is not the time to “open up.” And we still need significant increase in testing capacity before we can even faintly begin to monitor for flare-ups. We are not there yet, unfortunately. They should at least wait for two weeks after the fishermen come to see the impact from them first.

  • We so appreciate your work, Suzanne! “Pot stores in Anchorage remain open but flower stores have been shuttered. Liquor stores are considered essential businesses by the municipality but churches have been forbidden to have services….” “…. no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…. “

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