Local group pushes back on Evansville mask mandate

People gathered outside Evansville Civic Center to protest city-wide mask order
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 6:54 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Some city residents say they probably won’t wear a mask while pushing back against Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s mandate and claiming personal liberties at stake.

A group of protesters gathered Wednesday night outside of the Evansville Civic Center because they feel wearing a mask in public should be a choice.

Since Monday, several people have voiced opposition to the measure in both the city council and county commission meetings.

“I didn’t want to do it, but the data and advice of experts said it was the thing to do at this time,” Mayor Winnecke explained.

“I won’t comply,” Evansville resident Brenda Bergwitz shouted.

City council is also considering a similar ordinance that could be enforced in Evansville.

“We’re not going to sit here and be silent while the government forces us to do something, and also fine us for not doing it,” Gabriel Whitley explained.

During the protest, group members continued to oppose the mandate by holding props like signs and speaking their minds.

“To show everybody what we stand for,” Bergwitz added. “All of us have been doing due diligence with the masks and everything, but with the Mayor and what city council was trying to do - it’s not right.”

“They’re taking constitutional rights away constantly, and before long, we won’t have any,” Larry Herron expressed.

The Mayor says he believes he has seen more people in the community wearing a mask from when the mandate was announced until now.

“That’s all we want to do; we just want people to wear a mask and take some personal responsibility,” Mayor Winnecke said. “We know that’s what it takes, by the entire community, to help the spread of the virus throughout the city.”

[READ: Mayor Lloyd Winnecke releases mask resource guide]

The mask mandate requires people to wear a face mask inside public places where you cannot social distance, including stores and restaurants when you’re not eating.

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