NC Police Crackdown On Reopen Activists: ‘Protesting Is A Non-Essential Activity’

Eric Scheiner | April 15, 2020
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A ReopenNC demonstration outside the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh on Tuesday revealed some of the frustration with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's stay-at-home executive order.

Police made at least one arrest at the demonstration and tweeted, “Protesting is a non-essential activity.”


"I cry every day," Julie Barham, a hair stylist from Winston-Salem, told WTVD. "I'm doing the best I can. I need to open."

WTVD reports that small business owner Ashley Smith, created the group called ReopenNC on social media. As of Tuesday, the group had more than 25,000 followers.

Smith's idea for the protest, however, was for demonstrators to respect the law and work within its parameters; she called on folks to stay in their cars and honk their horns.

Many people did that - unleashing a thunderous chorus every 15-20 minutes - but others did not.

Police worked to break up a crowd that gathered outside, and ended up making one arrest.

WRAL reports, Monica Faith Ussery, 51, of Holly Springs was arrested and charged with violation of an executive order.

“I have a right to peacefully assemble,” she can be heard saying in video of her arrest.

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