ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Hundreds gathered to protest the closures, the canceled activities, and the requirement that all New Mexicans wear masks in public places at Civic Plaza Thursday evening. “It’s crippling our economy here in New Mexico and it’s going to end up being worse than the virus could possibly be,” said protester Timothy Robertson.
“The governor’s job, the mayor’s job is not to protect my health, their job was to protect my rights,” said protester pastor Steve Smothermon. Protesters held signs with messages like “Open New Mexico” and “I miss going to school.” Others suggested masks are like muzzles. KRQE News 13 asked the city whether they had any plans to enforce the mask requirement at the event.
Albuquerque Fire Rescue released the following statement:
As with the mass gathering ban, we understand that the legal rules are different when people are exercising their first amendment right to protest. But to be clear, people or businesses cannot pretend to have a protest just to escape mask enforcement. We will continue to issue notices of violation to businesses and individuals who are not wearing masks wherever the law requires, including inside buildings, or at businesses, or places of ongoing operation.Albuquerque Fire Rescue