Hundreds of people gathered on the lawn in front of Legislative Hall in Dover on Friday, May 1, 2020 to rally for the reopening of Delaware from COVID-19 restrictions.

Dozens of vehicles clogged the streets around Legislative Hall with horns blasting, flags waving and various signs calling for the coronavirus restrictions in Delaware to end.

Courtlyn of Georgetown was riding in the back of a pickup truck wearing a Guy Fawkes mask associated with the collective Anonymous.

"I think the mask makes a big statement," she said. "I'm just tired of seeing all the small businesses out of work. Everyone needs to make money and provide for themselves."

She was joined in the back of the pickup by Hope from Laurel wearing the same style mask.

"Our civil liberties are being violated!"

Paul Buchness of Lighthouse Catering in Georgetown just wants to rehire the employees he had to lay off.

"It's hard. I had to look into seven people's eyes and tell them we didn't have any work for them anymore," said Buchness. "I'm sure we'll be back but I'm sure it will be difficult." 

He said he's lost about four dozen events, but he's also worried about his colleagues in the hospitality industry.

"A lot of people aren't going to come back, ever," said Buchness. "They put their whole lives on hold and put their soul into it and they've got nothing to come back to. It's sad. And it's not necessary. This was a lot of bad decisions, a lot of non-decisions.

"We respect the virus. Nobody wants to get sick. Nobody wants to die. I don't want to see my friends, my elderly friends, or people that are hurt perish, but people are going to suffer from this a lot more than they had to because of the decision to close this state down."

Dover 4th District City Councilman David Anderson said they were there because they respect life and liberty, and you don't have to choose between the two.

"We don't have to be locked in our homes," Anderson told the applauding crowd. "We can be productive citizens who are free to worship, who are free to work, and who are free to be the people God made us to be, to live our lives and be with our families."

Delaware Governor John Carney, at his bi-weekly coronavirus update, called for unity and trying to address the current crisis as one. 

"This is a great country. Everybody has the right to express their opinion and folks are doing that," the governor said. "I guess I would have hoped that the protesters were more here to express their appreciation for what we're doing, and their support for what we're doing--but, obviously, we hear and understand their opposition and their eagerness to get back to work. 

Adding he isn't currently looking to pick a fight with people expressing their point of view, he asked them to be more careful while voicing themselves in public.  

"I do have concerns. Obviously, they have free speech rights and so you always want to be careful, particularly with respect to that, but they don't have the right to put other people at risk, which is what happens when they're gathering, kind of illegally," Carney said. "But I, just, as governor, don't want to go around looking for...fights. I just don't think it's productive."

Organizers of the event did their best to encourage those gathered to follow social distancing guidelines including an announcement ahead of the rally and a grid pattern set up on the lawn using cones and American flags.

Dover Police kept an eye on the event, but took no action.

TrafficWatch & News Reporter for WDEL/WSTW 1989 - 1993 and back again for Round Two starting in February, 2015 after spending a decade in Chicago and another six years in Boston.