Farmers protest Governors mask mandate

Local News

LITTLE ROCK. Ark. – Starting Monday, face masks are required in public across the state of Arkansas. It’s drawing a big debate between public health and free choice. Farmers and state representatives protested outside the Capitol. They said the face mask mandate infringed on their freedoms.

Taking their tractors to the capitol steps, those out plowing the fields are now plowing through Governor Asa Hutchinson’s mask mandate.​

“I was furious when he put out the mandate. Rural farmers have a voice,” Yell County Farmer Mike Jones said.​

Jones said he is not against wearing a mask, but how the order was put in place.​

“If you want to wear a mask, one, two three, your kids, whatever it’s great, but when someone comes out and forces me to do something I have a common sense whether to do or not you know that was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Jones said.​

State representatives also took the podium and said they were blindsided by the mandate.​

“I found out when my constituents did,” District 73 Representative Mary Bentley said.​

Bentley believes there should have been a vote.​

“We represent 33,000 constituents and my constituents are not being heard and when that happens we’re in like a tyranny,” Bentley said.​

Others in the community say they agree with Hutchinson making the decision.​

“I think it’s going to help us all hold each other accountable,” Little Rock native Taylor Washington said.​

Washington doesn’t understand the pushback.​

“I just think it’s irresponsible, to be honest. I think we’re all in this together, we’re all one team and so if we can all just help each other and keep the curve down and we just do our part,” Washington said.​

For those on the Capitol steps holding their flags high, they hope their voice is heard.​

“We want our legislators and our Governor to know that we do have a vote and we do have a say in what’s going on,” Jones said.

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