An estimated 2,500 people rallied at the Washington state capitol on Sunday to protest Democratic Governor Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order to limit the spread of coronavirus, defying a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people, Reuters reports.
Despite pleas from rally organizers to wear face coverings or masks, many did not.
Police estimated the crowd at 2,500, making it one of the largest protests in U.S. states against lockdowns over the past week. In Olympia, hundreds gathered in close quarters on the steps of the capitol building and around a fountain, contravening state and federal health guidelines during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Shutting down businesses by picking winners and losers in which there are essential and non-essential are violations of the state and federal constitution,” rally organizer Tyler Miller, 39, an engineer from Bremerton, Washington, and a Republican precinct officer, told Reuters.
Protesters drove vehicles to the state capitol, honking horns and clogging streets.