Rally against Safer at Home order moving forward, despite permit denial

NOW: Rally against Safer at Home order moving forward, despite permit denial


MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – A rally against the state’s extended Safer at Home order is set to move forward on Friday afternoon, despite a permit denial and social distancing guidelines against gatherings of large numbers of people.

One of the organizers told CBS 58 that the Facebook event page was taken down Wednesday morning, but at last check, more than 3,700 people had indicated they were going.

Madison Elmer, a co-organizer of the Reopen Wisconsin Freedom Group, said she and other organizers are advising people make their own choices regarding their health.

“You are responsible for your own health,” Elmer told CBS 58 in a phone interview. “If you feel [the event] is a safe place for you, please don’t come. If you’re sick, definitely don’t come. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please do so. […] This probably isn’t the place to ask for social distancing.”

The event is also shaping up to be part of a proxy battle between Governor Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature. The GOP, led by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R – Juneau) are currently in a legal battle against the democratic governor’s administration and the extension of the Safer at Home order.

Elmer, however, said the rally is not a political one, but rather an effort to get all sides involved in creating a path to lifting the Safer at Home order.

“Our goal for this is to have our government officials to start listening to us and start working with actual people that are in the midst of the other side of this and come up with a solution that is safe and that everyone agrees with,” Elmer said.

The event was denied a permit by Capitol Police. In a statement from the Department of Administration, “the permit was denied due to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services “Safer at Home” order, which aims to limit the spread of COVID-19.” Capitol Police, however, also said they respect civil liberties.

Elmer said the event will still go on, without the permit, rain or shine.

Meanwhile, a virtual rally in support of the Safer at Home order is being organized on social media. A Facebook page for the “Safer at Home Rally” is encouraging participants to share videos and photos in support of the Safer at Home order and health care workers. The virtual rally is set to occur over the weekend.

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