South-Eastern Idaho Representative Comes to Moscow to Protest Mask Mandate

Moscow, Idaho – “It’s all about Idahoans and our freedom, and to stand up for our rights anywhere in the State,” Said Idaho Representative Chad Christensen on Saturday. 

A crowd of approximately 200 people gathered from all over Idaho to protest the mask mandate in front of city hall. 

Organized by Representative Christensen, this protest was not affiliated with Christ Church which held two psalm sing events earlier in the week. 

Rep. Christensen did not think that the city’s mask mandate was appropriate. “It is against the constitution; it is against people’s rights.”

Rep. Chad Christensen

Rep. Christensen explained that he came because, “we were upset about the arrest of Gabe Rench. I organized this to stand up for our constitutional protections, to worship as we see fit, to assemble peacefully, and to fight for our liberty. This isn’t about Moscow, it is about Idaho.”

Gabe Rench was arrested on Wednesday at the first psalm sing at City Hall. 

After Rep. Christensen spoke, several other people took time to share with the crowd why they were protesting the Mask Mandate. 

Fighting against mask mandates is necessary, one protestor said, “It is very important that you are involved every step of the way. Because if you don’t stand up against little incursions in our liberty, like a new regulation or a slightly higher tax, then it becomes very easy for a mayor, or city council member, or county commissioner, or even a governor to say, ‘We are going to take away your liberty.’”

“My husband is a police officer,” Sarah Brady tearfully shared. “While watching what has happened, he knows there might come a day when he might have to lay down his badge because he’s not going to follow unconstitutional and immoral edicts.”

Sarah Brady Speaks at the event

Sarah Brady was arrested in April for refusing to leave a playground in southern Idaho. The playground had been shut down during the lockdown in Idaho. 

Eric Seeley drove from Spirit Lake Idaho to attend. He explained “I was inspired by Gabe on the news from Moscow Report, which I saw shared on a Facebook post.” 

Seeley said, “ I have been instrumental in the past putting together both pastors and legislators in the State of Idaho to get them communicating and praying with one another specifically in the Kootenai County area…I wanted to come to Latah County’s rescue.”

Seeley said that he thought the recent protests were historic, and compared it to the time when people threatened to tear down the Ten Commandments in Montgomery Alabama. “This is similar to it in one sense. 10,000 appeared at that event, we only had about a 1,000 last night. I am assuming if the police continue heavy-handedness, this will quell and we might get even higher numbers as the days go on like it did with the Ten Commandments.”

Seeley added, “When they start to arrest Christians, peaceful Christians, for simply worshiping God and start breaking your first amendment rights of freedom to assemble, that is kind of a red line in the sand, and you no longer have a free nation.”

The protestors went on a march around the police station half-way through the event. Stopping in front of the Moscow Police Station, the protestors were ‘antagonized’ by a 50 year-old man with a mask, commenting on the protestors open-carrying firearms. 

The man left, only to come back a few minutes later and get in a dispute with a protestor named John. While the man argued with John, John slowly approached him until the man was flush against the bumper of a parked car. The man then dumped his hot coffee on John’s chest and John retaliated by punching the man repeatedly. 

When John was asked if his reaction was justified he was astonished. “He attacked me and I punched him. Are you serious?! If someone is attacking you, what would you do? So yes, it was justified.”

A woman agreed with John, “There were others too who said the same thing. The man was walking up to him trying to pick a fight.”

The man had a scraped leg and a bloody nose. Two state police officers and seven Moscow police officers came to the scene, as well as an ambulance.

A number of people were open-carrying firearms.

There were about ten counter-protestors during the two hour event. One counter protector was dressed as Santa Claus, shouting, “Mask or no mask, you are my neighbor. I love you all.” 

The march led back to City Hall and then people dispersed peacefully.

Photo credits: Hayden Swanton, Kawitcha Namahoe, and Daniel Foucachon


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