Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
|Scott Ash/Now News Group|
BROOKFIELD – Nearly a thousand people packed the sidewalk adjacent Bluemound . road in Brookfield on Saturday afternoon to protest Gov. Tony Evers’ decision to extended Wisconsin’s stay at home order through May 26. Some wore masks and elected to participate in the parking lots while the majority stood shoulder to shoulder on the sidewalk waving and cheering at passing cars who honked or displayed signs in solidarity.
Occasionally Brookfield Police slowly drove by to remind people to stay off the street and police and Brookfield Square security vehicles were present in the parking lots, but groups of children, teenagers and adults was peaceful.
Many in the protest brought American and Gadsden flags along with homemade signs, with the bulk calling for the reopening of churches, the parks and the state economy. There were signs and T-shirts protesting Gov. Evers directly, along with Donald Trump and Mike Pence 2020 campaign signs, flags and bumper stickers.
Former Wisconsin State assemblyman Don Pridemore had a campaign vehicle on site, as he is running for State Senate in the 13th district. Brookfield Party Rental stationed three trucks along the sidewalk in one parking lot in support of the protest, with signs on one truck dashboard calling for the recall of Gov. Evers and the opening of the state.
For Paul Matson of Menomonee Falls, that was why he was at the protest.
“It’s time to open something,” he said. “This isn’t common throughout the state. It’s common in Milwaukee. It’s common in Madison. Lock them down. I don’t need to be locked down. I can be respectful. I have a mask in my car. If I go shopping I’m wearing it. I have hand sanitizer. I’m washing my hands. No reason for all this over-reaction.”
Matson was one of the protesters who chose to participate by staying off the sidewalk and was without facial protection but did feel there has been an over-reporting of the disease to hurt the President.
Most signage predominantly called for a re-opening of businesses, though others did question the validity of the pandemic and the lack of testing and medicine.
“My concern is about the cost of the precautions that the government’s dictating, that it’s out of proportion with the threat of the virus,” said Lawrence Sullivan of Juneau. “I think the threat of people catching the virus and getting sick here is something they can make a determination on, as to what the level of risk they’re willing to take is.”
Read more: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2020/04/18/brookfield-protest-hundreds-protest-evers-extension-stay-home/5159475002/