Protesters calling for end to coronavirus lockdown have tense standoff with Chicago cops despite gov’s vow to open state

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HUNDREDS of protesters in Illinois called for an end the state’s lockdown despite Gov J.B. Pritzker vowing to reopen businesses by the end of the month.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Thompson Center and the State Capitol Building on Saturday as they called on Pritzker to end his executive stay-at-home order.

AP:Associated Press

Hundreds of frustrated protesters rallied against coronavirus lockdown orders on Saturday in Illinois[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

The protests came amid news that the state’s coronavirus death toll climbed closer to 4,100[/caption]

Several conservative and Republican speakers spoke at the rallies in Chicago, the scene of a tense standoff between police officers and protesters, and in Springfield.

Many brandished signs demanding “FREEDOM” while others slammed Pritzker and compared the governor – who is Jewish – to Adolf Hitler.

Other signs suggested his executive order is part of a political ploy to sabotage President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

“They said this was all about flattening the curve. I think we flattened the curve,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

“You know what this is all about? This is about taking down President Trump in November.”

AP:Associated Press

Several protesters brandished signs demanding “FREEDOM” while others insulted Gov J.B. Pritzker[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

A tense standoff ensued between protesters and police officers in Chicago[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Several protesters brandished signs that read “Pritzker sucks” while others depicted the governor as Adolf Hitler[/caption]

Protester Connie Unger backed Schneider’s remarks, telling the newspaper the Democratic governor has “overstepped his boundaries.”

“He is against our state, he has another motive, and I don’t believe that he is a true patriot,” she said.

“His motive is to be the most liberal governor so that he can run for a higher office.”

Protesters rallied as state health officials announced another 74 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also said another 2,088 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19, while 4,058 residents have died from the virus during the pandemic.

However, the Northeast region of the state has met the governor’s criteria to move into the third phase of his reopening plan when his lockdown order expires at the end of the month.

This means that several non-essential businesses such as salons and barbershops could reopen with health precautions in place by May 29.

AP:Associated Press

Other protesters carried signs accusing Pritzker of trying to undermine President Trump’s reelection efforts[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

A protester holds a sign demanding that state businesses reopen[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Pritzker is not ‘a true patriot’, according to one protester at Saturday’s rallies[/caption]

Pritzker revealed to WMAQ Saturday that despite the terrible death toll, the percentage of people testing positive for the virus is declining.

“We’ve done so well up to now and I hope we continue on the same course,” Pritzker said.

The governor hopes that as the state moves to open more testing sites, more areas will move closer to phase four of reopening at the end of June.

“As we open up more testing sites and as we make available more materials for testing, I think we’re in a much better place,” Pritzker told the station.

“We’re making a lot of progress, I feel like we’re on a path to being in that spot.”

The anti-lockdown protests in Illinois are part of several that have taken place throughout the country as Americans become increasingly restless.

Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

Illinois Gov J.B. Pritzker said he hopes to reopen the state at the end of the month[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Several demonstrators carried American flags and touted signs about freedom[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

The protests in Illinois are part of several that have recently taken place throughout the country[/caption]

A viral video captured a reporter wearing a face mask being berated, chased, and insulted at an anti-lockdown rally in New York on Thursday.

President Donald Trump celebrated the protesters as “great people” while denouncing the journalist Kevin Vesey’s work as “fake news.”

At one of several protests on Thursday in Michigan, a fight broke out over a hanged doll representing Gov Gretchen Whitmer as armed militia men demonstrated in front of the state capitol.
More than 88,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, while more than 1.4 million have been infected with the killer bug.

Reporter Kevin Vesey said he was ‘insulted, berated’ and ‘practically chased’ at an anti-lockdown protest in New York
Trump defended the anti-lockdown protesters and described them as ‘great people’

A fight broke out at a Michigan anti-lockdown protest over a hanged doll representing Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer[/caption]