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Bar owner calls in ‘armed vigilantes’ to protest Texas coronavirus restrictions — and she joins them in jail

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An armed protest against Texas stay-at-home orders ended with eight arrests.

More than 20 demonstrators and members of the armed protest group Open Texas rallied outside Big Daddy Zane’s Bar late Monday afternoon following another demonstration at Anytime Fitness in Odessa, complaining that social distancing measures were unconstitutional, reported the Opelika Auburn News.

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“When we help businesses open up, support them,” said Open Texas member and online personal trainer Philip Archibald. “We get them some revenue and we get them back on their feet. We are only going to reopen the country by empowering people and helping them stand up and getting them back off their knees.”

Group members carried military-style rifles, which they claimed were to defend their First Amendment rights, and the bar’s owner asked them to stay on her private property behind the bar instead of the business property.

Texas does not allow firearms at bars, and six demonstrators were arrested for carrying a weapon on the bar’s premises.

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Bar owner Gabrielle Ellison was arrested for violating the governor’s order, and a bystander was arrested for interfering with duties of a peace officer.

Archibald insists the arrests were illegal because the armed protesters were standing on Ellison’s private property, but Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said the law applies to property that is owned or connected to the bar.

Ellison said her business was sinking and her employees were struggling, and she complained that she hadn’t gotten any assistance from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

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“I think some rights were taken away from us which one of them was like a right to survive,” Ellison said. “We have to survive and I think those rights were stripped from us.”

She complained that the governor was allowing some nearby gaming businesses to open before her bar, and she contacted Archibald seeking armed support for her demonstration — but the sheriff didn’t appreciate the out-of-town protesters getting involved.

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“I understand their side of it,” Griffis said. “Defying the governor’s orders is one thing, but when you bring a bunch of armed vigilantes in from other parts of the state for a show of force, I just got a problem with that,” he said.

Posted by Jazmyne Salcido on Monday, May 4, 2020

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Right-wing militia spokeswoman defends lynching of Kentucky governor in effigy: Protesting ‘is not the answer any longer’

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A group of right-wing protesters held a demonstration in front of the house of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's mansion this Sunday, at one point hanging an effigy of the governor on a tree in what looked to be a mock lynching. According to CNN, the protest was advertised on Facebook as a Patriot Day Rally to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The backlash against the group's actions was swift, with even Mitch McConnell slamming the move as "unacceptable."

"There is no place for hate in Kentucky," he tweeted.

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Soledad O’Brien scolds Tomi Lahren on Twitter after she calls people ‘sheep’ for Memorial Day

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Journalist Soledad O'Brien fired back at Fox News personality Tomi Lahren after she called Americans "sheep" for following pandemic safety rules on Memorial Day.

"I gotta hand it to COVID-19, you sure did expose the sheep among us," Lahren wrote in a tweet over the Memorial Day weekend.

I gotta hand it to COVID-19, you sure did expose the sheep among us.

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) May 24, 2020

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2020 Election

Trump’s policies could come back to haunt him as he struggles to save his presidency from COVID-19: columnist

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In a column for Washington Monthly, Annie Kim suggested that Donald Trump will likely be handcuffed by his own economic policies as he attempts to deal with the collapse of the U.S. economy in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic that raged out of control on his watch.

With close to 40 million Americans now unemployed and the president's administration pumping trillions into the economy to keep the country afloat as businesses shutter, Kim suggested that Trump is in a major bind of his own making that could cost him re-election.

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