YAKIMA -- Organizers called it a rally to restore "Americanism" and reclaim constitutional rights they believe are being taken from them during the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday.
The rally was able to pull in names like Tim Eyman and Loren Culp who are both seeking the Republican nomination to take on Gov. Jay Inslee in the Washington state gubernatorial election in Novemeber.
"This is clearly an anti-Inslee rally, I just think Jay Inslee is doing so many things as governor that it’s just infuriating people," Eyman said. "We are now less safe because of Jay Inslee, because he threw a monkey wrench into the economy."
Some people at the gathering said Inslee's actions requiring non-essential businesses to shut down is unconstitutional and an attack on their civil liberties. Others said they're tired of social distancing and following the recommended guidelines from the Yakima Health District.
Few people wore masks and most did not stay six feet apart from others, both are still important to follow according to YHD.
Jim Walsh, a state lawmaker from Aberdeen said personal liberty must remain the top priority of any response to the pandemic. He called for Inslee's powers to be reigned in by lawmakers after ten days and expressed concern over health officials potentially changing testing and quarantine policy from voluntary to mandatory.
"We can't lose the foundational rights that every Washingtonian has in the course of trying to fight back against the spread of COVID-19," he said.
When asked if public health is a compelling interest to the state and a justification to Inslee's stay home order, he hedged.
"Even I don't deny that there is an interest in public health, so it's a balancing question," he said. "To me, the constitutional rights are a little bit heavier, and the public health is a little bit lighter."