'Liberate' Rally Organizers Worked to Criminalize Anti-Pipeline Protests - 2020-06-01
In mid-April, protests touched off against the public health orders put in place by governments due to the coronavirus pandemic. In many of the state "liberate" protests, the number of demonstrators was a few hundred, compared to the 71% of Americans in polls who said they were worried about lifting coronavirus restrictions too quickly.
But the prevalence of firearms and white supremacist symbols at the protests attracted widespread attention—for example, through an infamous photo of maskless protesters yelling in the faces of masked state police in the Michigan capitol.
In late April, the "liberate" protests got a boost with the launch of Save Our Country, a coalition formed by conservative groups FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, Committee to Unleash Prosperity, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). On its website, the coalition provided messaging tools for people to petition their governors, along with tools for finding local protests to attend and for helping people organize protests if there were none in their area.