Group in Huntsville holds rally to open the state from coronavirus restrictions
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On Monday, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle shared some insight into what the re-opening process looks like.

During the briefing, Battle said it will be a team effort between health care providers, business owners, and the community.
He also warned us it won't be a quick process, and he's focused on making sure everyone stays healthy as Alabamians go back to work.

"There's not a non-essential business in the state in my opinion. Every business is essential. And trying to get them back to work as we can as responsibly as we can do it," said Battle.

But at the same time as Battle was addressing the media, there was a demonstration calling for businesses to open now

About 20 people gathered in front of the Madison County Courthouse, chanting things like "Open Alabama" and "We dare to defend our rights."

Others who passed by said they disagree with these messages.

"We want to have our freedoms back and to make our own choices about how we live our lives," said protestor Donny Letson.

"It's time that we reopen the economy and get people back to work. They want their jobs. They're hurting right now," said protestor, Karen Lower.

"We know the virus is bad but we do take precautions. We have and we didn't need the governor to tell us to lock us down," said Letson.

Rally organizer Justin Armstrong said he worked at a gym in Athens that's shut down during the stay at home order. He told WAAY 31 he filed for unemployment recently, but he says he was denied and is now struggling to take care of his family.

"That's my job as working there is to make sure my clients are safe. Give me that opportunity or make sure I and my clients are paid and taken care of so we aren't struggling for food," said Armstrong.

Others walking by told WAAY 31 they were shocked to see the rally.

"A lot of people are being harmed and they're dying from this virus and the idea that people want to re-open and put people at risk. Why would you want to do that?" said Huntsville resident Andrew Piper.

Others said that medical professionals should be the ones making decisions for the state.

"It's massively arrogant for me to assume that I know more than medical experts about the actions and how the human body contracts and deals with disease," said Huntsville resident, Ray Silvey.

Protestors say they want local representatives here in Huntsville to respond to their actions and for the state to open up by May first.


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