‘Stripped of our freedoms’: Protesters say Lincoln restrictions should be lifted

Protesters who say Lincoln should lift health restrictions related to COVID-19 made their voices heard Friday in Lincoln.
Protest

Protesters who say Lincoln should lift health restrictions related to COVID-19 made their voices heard Friday in Lincoln.

Dozens of people gathered outside the state capitol building with signs and speakers.

Some protesters told Channel 8 Eyewitness News they’re being hurt by the restrictions, especially financially.

“We’re being stripped of our freedoms,” Jana Volzke said. “To not be able to go to church. Some people can work and some people can’t, just depending on who the government is deeming essential. We’re all essential.”

Some members of the group expressed frustrations with Lincoln directed health measure, which runs through May 10, longer than some others in the state.

“We’re ready,” Volzke said. “If the numbers were there to back up the reason why everything is still shut down that’s one thing – but the numbers just aren’t there. And it just doesn’t make sense.”

Liam Kreikemeir, who is currently unemployed, said he doesn’t think it should be up to government officials to dictate whether someone can go to work or not.

“We believe our rights are being infringed when the government takes those away from us,” he said.

Shortly after the protest ended, health officials announced 44 additional new cases in the Lincoln community. Since Sunday, 161 of Lancaster County’s 281 total cases have been reported – roughly 57%.

Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said members of the group worked with LPD and the Nebraska State Patrol to organize the event. He said the specific language in restrictions regarding a limit of 10 people in a space is for confined spaces, and that the protesters had sufficient space between them.

“Most of them kept good social distance,” Bliemeister, who attended the event himself, said.

When asked for a response to the protesters’ views, Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said her office will continue to rely on the guidance of public health officials and make “the best judgement calls we can with the data we have in the moment when we need to make those calls.”

 

 

Categories: Coronavirus, Lancaster, News