'Live free, or die': Hundreds protest against US lockdown restrictions

Protesters against the decision by states to extend the stay-at-home order, in Texas, late on Saturday
Hundreds of people have been  demonstrating in cities across America since Saturday against coronavirus-related stay-at-home rules — with the explicit encouragement of President Donald Trump -— as resentment against prolonged confinement grew.

An estimated 400 people gathered under a cold rain in Concord, New Hampshire — many on foot while others remained in their cars — to send a message that extended quarantines were not necessary in a state with relatively few confirmed cases of Covid-19, an AFP photographer reported.

A similar rally outside Maryland's colonial-era statehouse in Annapolis drew around 200 protesters. And more than 250 people showed up in the Texas capital of Austin, as such protests continued to spread.


They drew encouragement in certain Democratic-led states from tweets by Trump — who has said he favours a quick return to normal practices —though protests have also taken place in Republican-led states like New Hampshire.

In Concord, demonstrators carried signs with slogans like “The numbers lie” or “Reopen New Hampshire.” Their common demand was that the stay-at-home order for the state of 1.3 million people be called off before its scheduled May 4 end date.

Others, amid a sea of American flags, chanted the state’s Revolutionary War-era slogan, “Live Free or Die”. Among the demonstrators were several armed men wearing face-covering hoods.

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