Moment 50 Buffalo business owners chant ‘get out’ and ‘we will not comply’ when health inspector barges into their anti-lockdown meeting
- Health inspector and sheriff’s deputies interrupted a gathering in New York
- Local business owners met to protest lockdown and discuss strategies
- They had been placed in an ‘orange zone’ due to high cases in Erie County
- The protesters chanted at authorities and forced them out of the building
A group of maskless business owners in New York demanded health inspectors and sheriff’s deputies leave the premises when they interrupted their anti-lockdown meeting.
The illegal gathering at Athletes Unleashed in Orchard Park saw around 50 locals meeting to discuss how to circumvent Andrew Cuomo‘s new ‘orange zone’ restrictions, which forces schools to go remote and ‘high-risk’ businesses to close.
But when authorities arrived, they were met with protests as the business owners chanted ‘get out’ and ‘we will not comply’ during the tense exchange as they were forced out of the building.
A group of maskless business owners in New York demanded health inspectors and sheriff’s deputies leave the premises when they interrupted their anti-lockdown meeting
Footage shows the health inspectors and deputies arriving 20 minutes after the meeting had started, after receiving an anonymous tip-off about the gathering.
The gym’s owner, Robby Dinero, said the group had gathered to protest the crippling effects of new lockdown measures on their businesses in Erie County, a current virus hotspot.
Gyms, barbershops and hair salons are among the businesses which have been closed in an effort to stop the spread of the virus in the area which has seen 20,000 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and is currently battling new daily infection records.
The group were discussing how to circumvent Andrew Cuomo’s new ‘orange zone’ restrictions, which forces schools to go remote and ‘high-risk’ businesses to close
Footage shows the health inspectors and deputies arriving 20 minutes after the meeting had started, after receiving an anonymous tip-off about the gathering
The authorities are seen telling the business owners that they were in violation of Cuomo’s restrictions which allow for a maximum of 10 people to gather at one time.
But a confrontation started when the protesters told officials they were on private property and had to leave the premises unless they could provide a warrant.
One man tells the authorities: ‘I’m asking to appeal your compassionate side. Our tax dollars guarantee your guys’ paychecks.
‘Some of these people actually work for their money and they don’t want to lose their livelihood. I’ve seen clients die because they’ve lost their livelihood.’
The protesters managed to force the officials outside the building after repeatedly chanting at them
But the exchange then becomes heated as the protesters repeatedly shouted ‘this is private property’ and ‘get out’.
When the sheriff’s deputy points out that none of them are wearing a mask, they all reply that it is not the law.
New York State law requires people to wear masks in public and ‘strongly recommend’ wearing a face covering in a shared indoor space.
The protesters managed to force the officials outside the building after repeatedly chanting at them, with the authorities returning to their car in the parking lot.
People among the group can be heard calling them ‘new-age Nazis’ and said: ‘Take your commie s*** elsewhere.’
The protesters marched the authorities into their car outside as they kept chanting
After the video went viral on social media, the group held another anti-lockdown protest on Monday, in which they were ‘fighting for freedom’.
But the sheriff’s office has defended their actions, saying they do not enforce Covid restrictions as that is the responsibility of the Erie County Health Department.
They said: ‘Since the spring, deputies have been assigned to Health Department inspectors to provide security for all parties involved and maintain a civil environment.
‘The deputies have not arrested anyone or interfered with passive resistance since New York implemented the restrictions.’
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said: ‘Almost every parcel of property in Western New York, unless it’s owned by government, is private property but our health sanitarians, as well as others, have the right to go in and enforce the rules.’