Protest Held in Niagara Square to Support Local Business

"Our freedom is being infringed on."

WBEN Newsroom
May 21, 2020 - 2:36 pm
Niagara Square Protest

[WBEN Photo - Mike Baggerman]

BUFFALO (WBEN) - On Thursday afternoon, a tame 150 or so people gathered in Niagara Square to protest local business, as many believe New York's economy isn't reopening quite fast enough.

"We're here today to support small businesses and to give a message to the governor and the county executive to allow small businesses to reopen so that people can get back to living instead of living in fear," said Nancie Orticelli, president of the Constitutional Coalition of New York State. "For most small business owners that I've spoken with, (Phase I) is not good enough - they're not making nearly the revenue that they need to make in order to survive and support their employees."

Another common sentiment shared at the rally is the belief that Governor Cuomo has "overstepped" his role, and the people of the state should have more input into their personal health decisions.

"I completely disagree with the guidelines that Governor Cuomo has set for our state, and I believe that we need to reopen," said Tashia Carron.

"I just want to support opening up New York," said a protestor named Grace, who did not want to give out her last name. "There's a lot of people who are struggling right now - they're suffering - and we should be able to take the risk on our own to be here and interact with each other if we choose."

"Our freedom is being infringed on, and it's not longer got to do with public health or safety - it's all political, and that's not what this is supposed to be," said Sterling Pollaro. "The fact that I have to stay home, I have wear a mask to go out in public...I can't take my family and go into a restaurant, but I can walk with 14 other people into a grocery store?

"I'd tell the people, 'If you want to go to work, then go to work, if you don't want to go to work, you don't have to," Pollaro continued. "If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask, if you don't want to wear a mask, then don't wear a mask."

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