- Dec 12, 2018
MADISON, Wis. — Thousands of protestors assembled on the state Capitol here Friday, expressing loud opposition to the extended stay-at-home order put in place by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The anti-government protest in Madison was organized by a tapestry of online groups, including a group of Wisconsin business owners, as well as several rightwing Facebook groups, like Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantines.
Bob Tarantino, the leader of a group of business owners who helped plan the Madison rally, said his goal was to bring attention to the fact that Wisconsin’s “small businesses are suffering unbelievable financial harm.”
“The kind of harm that they may not recover from,” he told NBC News in an email.
Protests against state stay-at-home orders in various states have attracted a wide range of fringe activists and ardent Trump supporters, NBC News reported earlier this week. Present at the protest in Madison on Friday were anti-abortion activists as well as people carrying pro-Trump signs. According to local media reports, Facebook took down the event page for the protest Thursday because the event did not meet guidelines the social media platform had provided for events calling for protests of stay-at-home orders.