Updated July 29, 2020 - 6:16 pm
About 100 people protested against the statewide mask mandate Wednesday during a Las Vegas rally organized by a political action committee dedicated to fighting the mandate.
The demonstration, held on the corner of West Washington Avenue and North Buffalo Drive, marked No Mask Nevada PAC’s third protest this month.
Norma Scurlock said she’s fighting for people’s right to choose whether they want to wear a mask.
“I know there are lots of people who are very sick and should wear masks, but we should be able to make that choice for ourselves,” she said. “We’re not children.”
Scurlock, who held a sign calling for law and order and a reopened state, said she doesn’t think it’s right that the state hasn’t fully reopened. She called on everyone who is out of work to “rise up.”
“I’m out here because I want people to realize that our rights are being taken away,” she said.
Andrew and Lucy, who declined to give their last names, stood across the street to contest No Mask Nevada’s rally. They said they planned to stay out as long as the other group did.
“Masks are important, and it’s absolute insanity that they’re standing out here in the heat protesting against them,” Lucy said. “I guess you could say the same thing about me, but at least I’m on the side of facts.”
Andrew said that he respects everyone’s right to disagree and No Mask Nevada’s dedication to remaining peaceful, but noted he believes the group is trying to change the narrative.
“They don’t have to agree that masks work, but they also shouldn’t be trying it make it a political thing,” he said. “I understand that they don’t like wearing masks, but this isn’t about people’s feelings, it’s about people’s lives.”
When asked why he was protesting in the heat, rally participant Ken Hyatt said it’s because “I’m educated.”
He said he’s seen “countless doctors from the front lines” speak out against masks and that he doesn’t believe the governor has the authority to make laws.
Hyatt said he doesn’t think masks of any kind are capable of keeping anyone from getting or spreading any virus.
“It’s all political,” he said. “It’s all about the money.”
The group said it opposes the mandate rather than the wearing of masks, arguing that there was no legislative session or vote prior to the mask mandate being put in place.
“We are all mandated by the signing of a piece of paper to wear a mask or else face the wrath of the government,” the statement read. “Law is created by a vote of our elected representatives and signed by our elected executive (governor). These recent ‘protections’ are not.”