Anti-mask protesters march through Target, Walmart slamming mandate: ‘We’re not gonna take it!’
Viral videos have emerged showing approximately 20 anti-maskers in Phoenix marching through Target and Walmart stores to protest the local mask mandate. Chanting, “We’re not gonna take it!” the protesters on Friday were filmed at a number of different stores in Phoenix’s Christown Spectrum Mall.
Two videos, one was apparently taken in a Target and the other in a Wal-Mart, show unmasked protesters carrying flags, holding anti-mask signs, and chanting anti-mask and pro-America phrases in each store. A similar protest took place at a Florida Target store in September.
Twitter user @davenewworld_2 posted the clips on Friday. The caption “Is this real life?” is attached to the Walmart video.
Jenny Guzman, one of the Target shoppers who took a video of the protest, told The Arizona Republic in a phone interview that she noticed people shouting near a group of Target security guards and drew closer to see what was going on.
“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,” Guzman said.
Guzman said after she took the video, a teenage girl confronted her and demanded that she explain science to her. Guzman said the girl didn’t elaborate on what kind of science she wanted to be explained but shrugged her off as the girl followed and grilled her until another shopper pulled the girl away.
Anti-maskers in Arizona invade a Target pic.twitter.com/qMDsG6jjlA
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) December 18, 2020
Security did not do much concerning the protesters as they marched throughout the aisles before leaving five-to-10 minutes later. She said the experience made her worry a little about her safety. She left the store soon thereafter without completing her shopping.
“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 said. “But I think they’re so selfish that it doesn’t matter to them.”
Guzman also said because of the protest she is unlikely to return to that Target anytime soon. Her feelings highlight the division over the pandemic raging in America currently.
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
Others applauded the protest and spoke out against the mask mandate. But the media did not focus on them.
Sgt. Maggie Cox, a spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department, said the department was aware of the demonstration but didn’t make any arrests.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tweeted suggesting that masks did not work.
“Maricopa County is proof that mask mandates fail to slow COVID-19,” he wrote Monday.
Maricopa County is proof that mask mandates fail to slow COVID-19.
Since the Maricopa Co. mask mandate, there have been….
– Almost 6x the # of cases;
– Over 5x the # of hospitalizations; and
– Almost 4.5x the # of deaths….as compared to the period before the mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/xgwMtO2Te9
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) December 14, 2020
Phoenix has instituted a mask mandate requiring people over the age of 2 to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible. Most stores must require masks to keep their doors open under this mandate.
Public health officials have urged people to wear masks when out in public and remain at home when possible to avoid further spread of the virus that has allegedly killed roughly 313,000 people in the U.S. Arizona has 7,819 known deaths as of Friday according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.