Protesters Gather Outside Gov. Herbert’s Home In Orem
Nov 15, 2020, 12:30 PM | Updated: 6:31 pm
OREM, Utah – Dozens of protestors gathered outside Gov. Gary Herbert’s home in Orem, waving American flags and holding signs decrying the state’s mask mandate and rules against social gatherings.
The Sunday protest came just days after an ordinance was passed in Orem, prohibiting what they call “targeted residential picketing” within 100 feet of a home.
Troopers and officers were on standby to help keep the peace.
“We will not comply!” yelled the crowd.
“These mandates have real consequences for real people,” Benjamin Berneche shares frustration and experience of his nonagenarian mother who passed away alone in a rest home following #COVID safety measures. @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/jXsSMRPknX
— Garna Mejia KSL (@GarnaMejiaKSL) November 15, 2020
People like Benjamin Berneche said the collateral damage was just too high.
At the rally, he shared the story of his 99-year-old grandmother who died in a resting home, not of COVID-19, but from loneliness.
“They let me come and talk to her through a window, but she couldn’t hear a word I said,” said Berneche. “All she did was beg, beg to be let out. She died of loneliness.”
Brent Sumner is an Orem City Councilman and one of Gov. Herbert’s neighbors.
“Today, they were very respectful of everything,” said Sumner. “They even measured off the 100 feet that was in the ordinance.”
“But to come to the Governor’s house on a Sunday and not give him that little respite, I think it’s just wrong,” said neighbor Lorelie Andrus.
Andrus wanted to show her support for the Governor’s efforts, so she hung a banner outside her home, proclaiming “Thank You Gov. Herbert!”
“I just didn’t want it to look like the voice of the protestors was the only voice out there because I think most Utahns really appreciate the Governor,” she said.
“The solution is to have our governors and our government respect our reasons as citizens — that we are reasonable, that we will care about our health,” said Amberli Nelson who helped to organize the rally. “Nothing in the Constitution mandates our body, our health. They need to trust us that if we feel sick, we’ll stay home.
Nelson added her concerns that such regulations would come at a higher cost to mental health and suicide rates.
Violating the new ordinance in Orem is considered a Class B misdemeanor with up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
It appears no citations were issued Sunday.
Protestors also gathered outside Governor-elect Spencer Cox’s home in Fairview.
Never dreamed I would have protestors at my home in Fairview. But we don’t get many visitors, so if you make the long drive, the least we can do is make you cookies and hot chocolate. I’m glad I got a chance to tell them I love them even if we disagree on masks. #OneUtah pic.twitter.com/lFTZ12e0wT
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) November 15, 2020