Why do people hate Alex Jones
Trump calls protesters "great people" : This is behind the US protests against corona requirements
Some wear red Trump caps and T-shirts, many hold American flags, others “Freedom instead of fear” - and “I have to work!” - signs or copies of the constitution. Dozens of pickup trucks keep circling the State Capitol in the coastal town of Annapolis, Maryland's state parliament. They honk and shout their anger out of their bodies.
In Austin, Texas, closely standing demonstrators shouted "Throw Fauci out!", Referring to Anthony Fauci, the top virologist in US President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force. In Concord, the capital of the state of New Hampshire, around 400 demonstrators, including armed men in paramilitary uniforms and with masked faces, gather in front of the Capitol.
The television pictures show a country in turmoil, or at least parts of it.
People in New Jersey, Texas, Maryland, but also in Indiana, Nevada, Wisconsin, Kentucky, California, Michigan and Ohio have been protesting against the strict exit restrictions that have been imposed in more than 90 percent of all states in the past few days. These are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus and give the congested hospitals more time to cope with the crisis.
[All current developments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here in our news blog. We will keep you up to date on developments in Berlin in particular.]
The demonstrators increasingly perceive this as tyranny and a restriction of their freedom of rights, they speak of an overreaction and fear for their jobs - the latter is quite understandable in view of 22 million unemployed in just four weeks and many businesses whose existence is threatened.
"Infowars" founder Alex Jones was at the protests in Austin
On the other hand, the protest is often not just spontaneous popular anger, but is fueled by right-wing circles and partially financed. The demonstrations in Austin were organized by the website "Infowars", which is known for conspiracy theories.
Its founder Alex Jones, who was also seen at the protests, calls the virus either a "hoax", an invention of the media, or an attack with biological weapons carried out by the Chinese Communist Party.
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Jones also used his site to claim that the 2012 rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a "hoax" or that the government was orchestrated to steal their guns from the Americans.
Outrage also sparked the controversial White House economic advisor Stephen Moore, who compared the demonstrators to an American civil rights icon. "I call these people the Rosa Parks’ of our time - they stand up against injustice and the loss of their civil liberties, "Moore told the Washington Post a few days ago.
"Free Virginia!" Tweeted the President
An absurd comparison: in times of racial segregation, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and was arrested as a result.
The demonstrators can also feel legitimized from the very top. President Trump even called them to do so on Friday on Twitter. “Free Minnesota!” And “Free Michigan!” He tweeted, and, “Free Virginia and save your great second amendment. He is threatened! ”The second amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.
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There had already been demonstrations in all three states named by Trump - and in all three states the Democrats have a majority.
US President Donald Trump defended the protests. "These are great people," said Trump on Sunday evening (local time) at his daily press conference in the White House with a view of the demonstrators. “They have camp fever.” These people wanted “their lives back”. He added with praise: "I have never seen so many American flags at protests."
The issue of gun law mobilizes Trump's base
As early as Saturday, Trump said at his daily corona briefing that some states would exaggerate the precautionary measures. "I really believe they are unreasonable," he said, referring to the Democratic governors of Michigan and Virginia, Gretchen Whitmer and Ralph Northam. “There is a lot of protest out there. In my opinion, some governors got carried away. "
Whitmer had done nothing but follow the guidelines issued by Trump's own government on business closings and "social distancing". And Northam signed a tougher gun law that had nothing to do with the coronavirus more than a week ago.
But gun law is one of the issues with which the republican base can be mobilized. Critics accuse the president of creating mood with a view to the November election.
Two-thirds of Americans fear that measures will be relaxed too soon
However, the demonstrators are loud and are shown on all channels. But they are apparently not in the majority. According to a study by the Washington Pew Institute, 66 percent of Americans are concerned that restrictions will be lifted too soon. Only 32 percent say this is not happening quickly enough.
The USA is the country with the highest number of proven corona infections and deaths worldwide: The number of infected people rose to 734,000 on Saturday, and more than 38,800 people died. President Trump issued new guidelines on Thursday that allow governors to decide for themselves when to relax protection requirements.
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