Defends First Amendment, Delivers Constitutions, Urges Cooper to Reopen
RALEIGH – Congressman Dan Bishop joined over a thousand of North
Carolinians at the REOPEN NC protest at the State Capitol Tuesday, to oppose
recent assaults on First Amendment free speech rights and urge Governor Roy
Cooper to begin reopening the state as soon as possible.
Cooper’s order keeping families locked down and “non-essential” business closed is set to expire on April 30th, but Cooper has yet to announce whether he will extend the lockdown order, or if he has a plan to return North Carolina to normal life.
Thousands of small businesses have shuttered over the past six weeks, forcing hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians onto unemployment rolls.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp have both begun gradually reopening restaurants, salons, and other businesses, despite higher per capita COVID-19 infection and death rates in their states. Several other states have announced plans to reopen over the coming weeks.
“Governors across the country are announcing plans to return to normal while continuing to contain this virus, but we haven’t seen a plan from Governor Cooper and don’t know if one exists,” Bishop said. “The people of North want their lives and their jobs back, and they need the governor to lead – now. Before it’s too late.”
After protesting near the capitol, Bishop delivered copies of the U.S. Constitution to Raleigh’s mayor, city councilors and police chief at City Hall. Raleigh’s police department tweeted last week that “protesting is not an essential activity” and doubled down on its anti-First Amendment stance in a subsequent press release.
Bishop launched an online poll on reopening last week. Over 8,000 North Carolinians had weighed in by Tuesday afternoon, and more than 80% of them believe the state should reopen when Cooper’s lockdown order expires on April 30th.