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Protesters gather at Arizona State Capitol, call for reopening of economy

Economy reopening protest
Posted at 12:25 PM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 23:19:17-04

PHOENIX — Protesters rallied at the Arizona State Capitol for the second day in a row Monday, calling on state leaders to reopen the economy.

Watch video from the Capitol in the player below.

The Monday event, dubbed "Patriot's Day Rally" in event posts on Facebook, drew hundreds of people to the Wesley Bolin Plaza.

PHOTOS: Protesters gather at state capitol Monday

Sunday's demonstration also drew dozens of protesters, most of whom stayed in their vehicles and circled the Capitol holding signs and honking their horns. The group, called Operation Gridlock Arizona, also organized Sunday's demonstration in recent days through a Facebook event page.

Similar rallies have been taking place across the U.S., including in Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

The protesters say states must reopen and allow people to get back to work after being ordered to shelter in place due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Arizona

Operation Gridlock Arizona had asked for people to drive around the Capitol in downtown Phoenix near 17th Avenue and Adams Street to create a "gridlock." The Facebook post requested that demonstrators remain in their vehicles as they rallied at the Capitol.

Last week, President Donald Trump said he had the authority to force states to relax social distancing guidelines in order to re-open the U.S. economy. However, on Thursday, Trump said he would leave it to state governors to decide when they felt it would be appropriate to relax social distancing guidelines.

On Friday, Trump appeared to back those protesting social distancing orders by tweeting a series of messages calling for the "liberation" of states whose Democratic governors extended stay-at-home orders.