Several groups representing counties and cities throughout Kansas came together to rally in downtown Topeka and encourage the Kansas Government to open businesses that have been on lock down for six weeks. The goal of the rally to create gridlock in downtown Topeka with horns blaring and signs waving was certainly achieved.
The streets around the four-block Capitol area were completely packed with vehicles displaying signs and flags, many times at a standstill. Participants came from Topeka and nearby cities such as Ottawa and the Kansas City area, plus far-away places like Wichita, Colby, Melvern, Marion, Dodge City and Fremont.
Many workers, business owners and others want to end the stay-home order that has crashed the state’s economy and caused so many people to be out of work.
David Schneider of Marion, one of the organizers of the event, said we have accomplished the goal to “flatten the curve” and now hospitals are laying off workers due to lack of patients.
Schneider feels that Kansans’ livelihoods are at stake and it is time to end the shut-down.
Some protesters also lined the sidewalk areas, holding signs and flags, and appeared to be practicing social distancing.
The demonstrators feel that the social and economic harm of the shutdown now outweighs the threat from the pandemic.
The Kansas governor has seemed reluctant to relax the restrictions on businesses, as well as religious gatherings, having been to court multiple times over her shut-down orders. Last week a federal judge blocked her order limiting gatherings at two Kansas churches, one in Junction City and one in Dodge City. The case is continuing.
Her stay home order has been extended until midnight May 3, although the limits on her emergency powers may mean it effectively expires May 1.
Many members of the legislature, as well as other Kansas leaders, feel that Kelly has overstepped her legal authority and are looking for ways to curtail her actions.
–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice
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