Protestors of NJ's COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order Rally Outside a Walmart

NBC Universal, Inc.

A small crowd of protestors, roughly one to two dozen in size, gathered in a New Jersey parking lot Friday morning to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy's stay-at-home order.

The crowd gather at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of a Walmart in Hamilton, New Jersey. Those who gathered brought cardboard signs, an American flag, and painted messages on vehicle windows parked next to their protest.

"MURPHY'S LAW WORSE THAN COVID-19," one window sign read.

Gov. Murphy said his public schools would stay closed at least through May 15, in line with New York's latest extension for its "Pause NY" order.

New Jersey had 78,467 cases and 3,840 as of Friday. Murphy says his state has yet to hit a plateau; to help with the most critical cases, Cuomo said Thursday he'd send 100 ventilators across the river.

Similar protests have sprouted in other states in recent days -- in Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho and Virginia -- but Friday's was seemingly the first in the tri-state.

Opponents of the stay-at-home orders have called the policies "government overreach," some frustrated with how state's define which workers as "essential."

In places like Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia, small-government groups, supporters of President Donald Trump, anti-vaccine advocates, gun rights backers and supporters of right-wing causes have united behind a deep suspicion of efforts to shut down daily life to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As their frustration with life under lockdown grows, they’ve started to openly defy the social distancing rules in an effort to put pressure on governors to ease them.

Polls show the protesters' views are not widely held. An AP-NORC survey earlier this month found large majorities of Americans support a long list of government restrictions, including closing schools, limiting gatherings and shuttering bars and restaurants. Three-quarters of Americans backed requiring people to stay in their homes. And majorities of both Democrats and Republicans gave high marks for the state and city governments.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
Contact Us