Rolling protest through Anchorage draws hundreds - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, July 23, 2021
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Rolling protest through Anchorage draws hundreds

There may have been hundreds or there may have been over 1,000 people who took part in an Anchorage act of civil disobedience, as citizens in their private and business vehicles rolled from the Loussac Library in midtown, through downtown Anchorage to protest the extended business closures mandated by the government.

It was hard to count because some vehicles had one person, while others had a whole family, plus the dog. But this writer counted more than 300 vehicles leaving the Loussac Library for a roll by City Hall and it’s our guesstimate that the crowd was close to 900.

Organizers of “Open Alaska” said the social media group grew from just a handful of concerned Alaskans to more than 3,300 on Facebook in less than a week.

Today’s protest started out with a welcome by Bernadette Wilson, owner of Denali Disposal, who used a bullhorn to thank attendees and remind them to obey all traffic laws. A prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance were observed, and then Wilson announced, “Start your engines!” Her garbage truck, polished to perfection, was the lead vehicle.

By the time the procession reached 7th street downtown, there were still dozens of cars streaming into the parking lot at Loussac, making it about a 2.6-mile long parade.

As the cars drove by City Hall, drivers leaned on their horns and waved flags. They rolled through downtown for about two hours, only encountering one reckless counter-protester who started weaving his car dangerously through traffic. That man was pulled over by police. The Open Alaska drivers remained lawful and many wore face coverings as a precaution.

Police were assigned to the area and about a half dozen were observed, but took no action against what was technically, an illegal outing. Anchorage Police were simply there to keep the peace.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz was hosting a Facebook Live event to discuss when he will allow people to go back to work.

“I want to reiterate what we are doing is driven by data,” Berkowitz said, clarifying that he feels the city is in a solid enough place to allow easing of some restrictions by Monday. “None of the metrics that we are looking at are in a red zone,” he said. “They are in a green and yellow zones.”

In a previous press conference this week, the mayor had indicated that Anchorage could stay locked down for as long as 42 days.

Today, Berkowitz went to great length to clarify that he intends to move more quickly, although he said because Anchorage has to medically welcome patients from all over the state, he wanted to “move more deliberately than the state is in terms of opening things up.”

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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

  • Beep! Beep!

  • Berkowitz is a lyiing sack of spring thaw doo doo!
    He is NOT managing this shut down based on the data.
    His goal is to Kill the Private Sector.

    The Private Sector is the only opposition to his leftist plans and his ambition to be
    Alaska’s next Governor.

    If he Kills the private sector, there is no other source of funds or support to oppose him and the government employee unions seeking to control the state.
    Do NOT be fooled. His COVID STARATEGY is HIS 2022 Election Strategy!

    And Alaska’s Demise!

    Oppose the Unconstitutional Berkowitz Shutdown and Power Grab

    Sam Adams

    • That about sums it up, Sam. Every statement is crafted towards his gubernatorial run. Heck, even the news sounds like a commercial for his campaign. Just like Begich couldn’t run anything without including the loss of his father, Berkowitz is going to have “how I saved the city” in every piece of his campaign propaganda.

  • Protesters, you have all the freedom in the world to get yourself sick if you wish, but you don’t have the right to make me or my family sick. I suspect that your views will change somewhat come the day that you have a ventilation tube stuck down your throat, with a 50-50 chance of ever surviving it. Trust your properly-educated public health officials, and not Fox, Breitbart, Rush, Sean, Laura, etc., who only pretend to believe what they espouse on television for the sake of money.

    • If you don’t want to get sick, build yourself a bubble, move your family into it and never come out. Who give a crap what you want, what you do, or your Government worship. The rest of us choose to live our lives as Free Citizens with all our God given rights and responsibilities.

    • Yes, Whidbey ~ while you keep on trusting CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and all of the other mainstream media Leftists Activists, who ~ in your words, “only pretend to believe what they espouse on television for the sake of MONEY.” Trust your socialists, to make things better? I don’t think so. Not in Alaska.

      • Not in Alaska? We have the largest welfare program of any state. Or are we still pretending the PFD isn’t welfare because you feel entitled to it? The world isn’t black and white Emily.

        • Jim
          You continue to show that your knowledge of the PFD and state finances are to far of a reach for you. We do have a large welfare program and the previous administration did us no favors in expanding it. Since when does 1/2 the the population in the US need help every month to live? Maybe you should look at the rich corporations and execs that refuse to pay a decent living so the state does not have to feed you.

    • We’ve heard that one before, it’s moronic. If you don’t want to get sick…don’t go out.

    • Whidbey,

      How do protesters in Anchorage, Alaska impact you in Washington?

    • Medical protocols for Covid19 are moving away from ventilators (and their high mortality rate ) to less intrusive methods. Just another example of the ever changing landscape of the Covid19 crisis. Question everything.

    • AMEN?? Yours is the first common sense comment I’ve read. I just pray enough people feel the way we do because if not and we open up too soon we’re gonna get set back even farther than now and it’ll probably take twice as long to get things going again, which will be very very bad. We just need to hang on just a bit more or until the the medical and scientists say it’s safe. Hang in there everyone because the loss of one life a day is no less important than the loss of 50 a day.
      God bless our country, our world, May our God wrap his arms around our families and bless the scientists ?‍? and such in finding a Cure and Vaccine ? for this terrible Coronavirus????♥️????♥️???? .

      • My reply was to someone else’s reply.

      • Until the medical and scientists say it is safe? If you are waiting for a vaccine or cure for you to feel safe than you might as well stay in your home and self-quarantine for the rest of your life. The flu viruses are always mutating and will never fully go away. They may come up with a vaccine for one strain, but another strain is always not far behind.

      • If this is the same God that is all knowing and all powerful to whom you are appealing, I wonder why He/She has foisted this nasty virus on us, concealing it in its contagion while remaining asymptomatic?
        I’m pulling for the smart people who are working to defeat this God-created plague. Are they blessed by God, or are they the devil’s workers?
        Indeed, the Lord, who seems to be behind this virus, must work in mysterious ways. And yet, we question science and believe in magic.

    • But Whidbey, you have the right to suspend people’s God given and constitutional rights to work and make a living? Or to peacefully assemble, etc? What a fool you are and a hypocrite! Your stupid assumption that someone will automatically be on a ventilator if they get the coronavirus is laughable. Very few ever end up on a ventilator and most of them who do and or die are severely ill, very old, obese or immune compromised. Coronavirus death rate is that of the seasonal flu weather you like it or not. Research it. Government, media and medical establishment have committed greatest crime against humanity ever in the history of the world with their hysterical lies about coronavirus and the shutdowns.

    • …..Above……old Whidbey, sitting on his island, smoking pot……in his rocking chair and pushing back his stringy white ponytail……watching CNN, …..dreaming that the DNC conventions Cuomo in August……and praying that his Republican neighbors down the street catch the COVID bug. Old Whidbey, probably an ex-pat from Homer……Zooming with his fellow retired Lefties, trying to figure out how Trump caused all of this. This is what 50 years of pot does to his brain………teaching his great-grandkids how to smoke pot and vote Democrat…..no matter what….

    • Agreed They will be in the hospital collecting unemployment and some sort of assistance which means we pay for their medical bills

    • Then stay home. Don’t rope the rest of us into your paranoia

  • Give us a heads up when the next drive-through protest is scheduled in Anchorage. Fairbanks and the Kenai will join you. We need to get out of our houses and buy this cheap gasoline.

  • Alaskans are making history as protests continue this week across America.
    Recently a sheriff in Washington state has come out against the “stay at home” authoritarian lockdowns.
    “Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney condemned Washington’s stay-at-home order in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday night…
    Fortney charged that lockdown measures were unconstitutional because they have forced so many businesses to close. He said he and other sheriffs in the state will stop enforcing the stay-home order…”
    (Dailymail.co.uk)

    • Neither Fortney nor Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond — who has also refused to enforce the emergency restrictions — have the authority to countermand the state’s chief executive.

      Just petty insurrectionists, they should be charged and sentenced.

      18 U.S. Code § 2383. Rebellion or insurrection

      Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

      So much for all the conservative talk about respecting the rule of law?

      • When the elected politicians don’t respect the rule of law, why should they expect anyone else to do so? You guys really aren’t gonna like playing under your new rules. But we will. Cheers –

        • The General Welfare clause is a real thing in the Constitution. You should check it out, as well as its implications for the scope of government’s authority.

      • Actually sheriffs have way more power than the governor! Sheriffs are constitutionally empowered to uphold the Constitution and have the authority to even arrest the governor if need be.
        I worked with Sheriff Mack from Arizona and learned a lot. Several of these sheriffs, like in LA are totally political and the people need to boot them, since they are elected.

  • This is awesome. Very proud of Alaskans for turning out.

    Now if they can all take 5 people to the polls with them, maybe we can get these crooks in city hall and the legislature out of office and take our city and state back…

    • You plan on getting rid of Trump too? Or are you going to just ignore that small inconvenient detail?

      • We will bring 10 people for Trump! At least he follows the Constitution vs the socialists like Ethan, Cathy and Bryce!

        • Too funny. It’s just politics as usual.

  • Any business owner should consult their insurance carriers and lawyers before opening up their business during a health crisis.

    If they don’t think there will be tremendous liability if people get sick in their establishments because they failed to follow the advice of the public health experts that’s out there for everyone to see, they are kidding themselves.

    • There is no provision in the Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect citizens from viruses. This entire shutdown of the planet has nothing to do with a “virus”. Rather, it’s all about controlling the populace with the global governance system. This was a test, and free people have failed miserably to defend their rights. Only now are some beginning to wake up and smell the communism.

  • If you are going to beat up the mayor over the Wuhan virus prepare to see the POTUS beat up over it too. I think the national stakes are greater.

    .

    Unless you think your business and liberties is going to do better under Biden. Maybe he’ll pick AOC as his Treasurer.

  • All creatures harbor an urge to return to their native environment. Which is as good an explanation as any about what our “San Francisco Treat” wants Anchorage to become. Foul streets and subjects rather than citizens.

  • Great job Suzanne!

  • Geez, Republicans are paranoid people. Yeah, that is exactly his strategy. They are all out to kill jobs and put everyone out of business. Stay in the house!

    • Trumpy We are not paranoid just have common since and can think outside of the box. You need to be led to the trough and shown how to drink the cool-aid. I do not want to live like you do and that is why this is a free country.

  • Over the last 5 weeks Alaska has had 4,888 citizens go on unemployment for every Covid-19 death in the state. (6285 citizens if we don’t count the 2 deaths that did not happen in Alaska) The amount of jobs lost is higher, as many of the lost North Slope jobs do not show in the unemployment figures.

  • I am confused, the Mayor was announcing measures to reduce restrictions and you guys are protesting that it is not fast enough. All while socially distancing in cars. Look at the Modeling used by the Trump admin. https://www.geekwire.com/2020/coronavirus-computer-modelers-revise-dates-easing-state-shutdowns/
    They are projecting that AK is 1 of 6 states that can start easing of restriction in early May because we took this thing seriously. We are rocking this. And you guys are acting like the guy on the team that would loaf during practice, wouldn’t play defense in games and would then complain about not getting playing time. Put the work in, we can get through this together.

  • Write letters to the US Attorney Office here and in Washington DC against Berkowitz and his antics. Our liberties are at stake and the “puke” mayor with his “puke” assembly are the problem in every way. Once an investigation of all departments is done by the DOJ, our police, state and federal will have a better control of the problem and put a stop to Berkowitz. While he commits our healthcare to the virus and obstructs the citizens, he acquires money in the Cares Act that has no real purpose here. That is Berkowotz’s purpose and he has an excuse to dothat. Look at the hospitals. No one is in them. Look at the Alaska Airlines Center, no one is in that facility. Look at the Ben Boeke Arena, no one there.

    • If we open up the state too fast or to haphazardly, you’ll likely find that those empty placed will be full. But that would require looking ahead at least 2 weeks, a heavy lift for some of those making comments.

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