Roughly 30 people, some bearing Tiki torches, protested outside Boise Mayor Lauren McLean’s home Monday night, upset about the city’s new health order issued last week in an effort to curb the coronavirus’s rampant spread.
The protest was organized via text by the group People’s Rights, an organization formed this year by Ammon Bundy of Emmett.
The largely maskless crowd shouted for McLean to emerge to face them and yelled about the effect coronavirus restrictions have had on the economy.
“My daughter’s ballet recital has been canceled,” one man yelled. “My daughter!”
Another man said he believed the coronavirus restrictions were a plot to create a communist society.
In a statement issued Monday, McLean asked the protesters to be respectful of her neighbors and “every neighbor in this community.”
“Their protests at my home over the summer were worrisome, as those protests were marked by the absence of basic public health efforts: masks and distancing,” her statement reads. “It’s especially concerning right now, as we head into a long, dark winter with our case numbers rising rapidly and our hospital systems on the brink of having to ration care.”
The city’s new public health order, which took effect Monday, continues the city’s mask mandate and allows police to cite or arrest a person for disobeying the order. The city last week invited businesses to call non-emergency dispatch for help with enforcement and residents to call the clerk’s office about business that aren’t following the order.
Many protesters shouted their disgust at the idea, with one woman yelling, “Snitches get stitches.”
McLean last week called the new order a “scalpel,” intended to keep businesses not following the mask order accountable for their actions while allowing other businesses who are following the order to stay open.