Several videos posted online Saturday groups of mask-free Arizonans marching through several stores in protest of the COVID-related mandate
In one video, several in one group appear to be singing, “We’re not gonna take it” — a reference to the title of a 1984 hit by the band Twisted Sister.
“This is America,” one person can be heard shouting as the few dozen protesters make their way through the store.
“Is this real life?” the video, posted to World Star Hip Hop, asks.
The Arizona Republic reported that protesters marched mask-less through several stores in Phoenix on Friday as part of a wider demonstration against face-covering mandates. Protesters marched through Christown Spectrum Mall, Target, and Walmart stores.
The outlet noted that a number of videos of the protests were posted on various social media platforms showing demonstrators holding anti-mask and anti-lockdown signs as well as American flags.
Jenny Guzman, a Target shopper who took a video of a protest, told the paper that she also saw demonstrators shouting near security guards, which is what got her attention to begin with.
“I turned to look and then I saw people coming in, not wearing masks, with signs and a big giant American flag chanting and yelling — demanding that people take their masks off and just saying fallacies about wearing masks,” she told the paper.
After this a teenage girl pulled down her mask and came up to me and told me to explain science to her and started harassing me lol pic.twitter.com/099KRUOPVq
— Jenny Guzman (@JennyGuzmanAZ) December 18, 2020
Guzman said after she took her video a teenage girl walked up and confronted her, demanding that she explain the science to her, though she added that the girl did not elaborate.
“It was just so selfish and I just don’t understand how these people think that — not only are they not proving a point, but they’re endangering people,” Guzman complained. “But I think they’re so selfish that it doesn’t matter to them.”
Phoenix police officials told the paper they were aware of the various protests but that no one had been arrested for them.
Phoenix has a mandatory mask order in place for residents over the age of two when they are otherwise not able to socially distance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most stores have to comply with the mandate in order to remain open.
The protests in Arizona come as more Americans around the country continue to grow weary of perpetual mask and social distancing orders, as well as mandatory closures of businesses, even as Congress continues to war over new COVID-19 relief.
In recent days, “Growing Pains” actor Kirk Cameron hosted two outdoor events where hundreds gathered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., to sing Christmas carols.
In a video posted to his Instagram account, Cameron said “over 500 people gathered” for the first “Christmas caroling peaceful protest” on Dec. 6. He said he held an “encore protest” a week later, Dec. 13.
“People had such a great time. It lifted our spirits. Over 500 people gathered,” he said.
Some users also criticized those events, with one calling them “selfish” as well.
“This is so selfish. Looks like a super spreader party to me. Hopefully no one dies from it,” the user wrote.
Cameron defended the protests.
“All I can tell you is that I’m looking around in my community and I’m seeing the devastation and the suffering of people whose businesses have been bankrupted, people dealing with anxiety, depression, suicide is spiking, the abused being quarantined with their abusers, and I can’t just ignore that,” he said.
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