Hundreds Attend Washington State “Freedom Rally”

Protesters say realities of rural and small town life aren't being considered as part of Washington's COVID-19 restrictions. KING's Amy Moreno reports.

(NBC News) — Hundreds of people converged on the small town of Mossyrock, Washington Saturday to support small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

The “Freedom Rally” gave people a chance to share their frustrations about Governor Jay Inslee’s latest set of COVID-19 restrictions that prohibit indoor dining and set capacity restrictions on retail stores.

It’s been a rough year in Mossyrock, where the cancellation of the annual Blueberry Festival along with Loggers Jubilee in nearby Morton has deeply impacted tourism. Those closures along with increased COVID restrictions have pushed some to the breaking point, emotionally and financially.

“What people don’t understand is those three events in those towns is what gets the towns by for the year because of the tourism,” said Arminta Melis, who came with her husband from Morton to show support for Mossyrock.

Mossyrock Mayor Randall Sasser said he had talked with people from around the state who had come to help out.

Steve Hurst said he came from Olympia because he thinks the governor is overstepping his power.

“It’s a real disease but it’s not being handled properly, restaurants don’t spread it,” claimed Hurst.

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