Hundreds gather to protest stay-home order

by Keith Kinnaird
News Editor | April 18, 2020 1:00 AM

SAGLE — Hundreds gathered at the south end of the U.S. Highway 95 Long Bridge on Friday to protest Gov. Brad Little’s stay-home order because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing? No dice. Face masks? Nope. Law enforcement? Nowhere to be seen.

What was in ample supply was frustration and anger over an order which they argue is throttling businesses, marooning employees and thwarting communal religious worship.

“I don’t feel like it’s me that needs to speak,” Rep. Heather Scott said to the crowd in the parking lot at the Long Bridge Bar & Grill. “I feel like it’s all of you and I think by showing up today you are speaking. We are sending a message to our state — loud and clear — that our rights shall not be infringed upon.”

Clark Fork resident Tanya Montague said the stay-home order is preventing her from obtaining healthcare.

“I cannot go to the doctor. I can’t do physical therapy,” Montague said. “This has to stop.”

The group included business owners, families with young children, political hopefuls, independent journalists, retirees, anti-vaccination advocates, teenagers, middle-aged couples and even a few hippies.

Tammy Pilgrim, a registered nurse, said she’s seen the COVID-19 unit at Kootenai Health.

“It’s empty. Our hospitals are becoming empty,” said Pilgrim.

The gathering also attracted a very outspoken neighbor who hoped the crowd would contract the virus that causes COVID-19.

“They are on state property, violating an order and they all should be arrested,” said Bev Kee.

The throng set out across the bridge holding United States flags, Gadsden flags, Trump banners, signs protesting the stay-home order and demanding religious freedom and the return of hugging.

The procession was met with a lot of approving horn blaring by motorists and truckers passing over the bridge. It also received a couple of defiantly extended middle fingers from passersby.

“Go back to California!” yelled a woman behind the wheel of a southbound sport utility vehicle.

Cornel Rasor, a former Bonner County commissioner who is challenging Charlie Shepherd for the GOP nomination for a position in Idaho’s House of Representatives, said he suspects Little’s order is lawful, but said it ran counter to the principals the nation was founded on.

“We’ve been on a long, slow march to the loss of our freedoms,” he said.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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KEITH KINNAIRD/Hagadone News Network Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.

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Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.

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KEITH KINNAIRD/Hagadone News Network Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.

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KEITH KINNAIRD/Hagadone News Network Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.

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KEITH KINNAIRD/Hagadone News Network Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.

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KEITH KINNAIRD/Hagadone News Network Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.

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KEITH KINNAIRD/Hagadone News Network Protesters of Idaho’s stay-at-home order walk across the Long Bridge in Sandpoint on Friday.