- A group of mask-less protesters marched through the Florida Target on Tuesday night, encouraging other patrons to remove their masks.
- A viral video shows the group shouting, “Take off your masks!” And “Now we are not going to take it.”
- Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, wearing masks has extended from a medical precaution to a cultural statement.
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Marissa Folz, a 28-year-old boutique owner from Florida, was shopping with her mother and aunt at a target in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday evening when they heard chanting and screaming coming from some corridors. She stopped and looked around the shop and then a large group of anti-masked protesters rounded the corner.
“Take off your masks,” a white woman leads the group, pumping air with a ball-up mask held in her fists. “We’re not taking it anymore!”
Another man, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” T-shirt, a speaker played rock music above his head and beckoned another patron to join the D-mask and said, ” Yes, we found someone! ” He said excitedly.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the wearing of masks has been politicized, from a public health measurement to a cultural statement. In Washington, politicians have taken their stand on masks. In supermarkets, mask-compliance has increased stand-up among customers and employees. In July, a French bus driver was beaten by passengers who refused to wear masks.
The Fort Lauderdale group, made up of about 11 people according to Folz’s video, gives hats and T-shirts to young women ranging from young men to young boys in “Make America Great Again”.
Fort Lauderdale Target has a clear facade policy, with a sign outside the door that tells customers: “Broward County orders require a face covering; all guests must cover a face to enter the building.”
“I was in shock. It’s disgusting,” Folz said in an interview with Business Insider. “They weren’t angry at all. It seemed like a joke to them.”
A nurse watching the scene said that she worked in the hospital’s COVID-19 ward, and commented, “He’s very abusive,” according to Folz.
As the group passed, a message came over the intercom asking the group to leave, Folaz said. At that time, his family decided to distance themselves from the group. According to Folge, Folge’s mother said, “Let me take my toothpaste … and come on, let the hell get out of here.”
During checkout, he noticed that some police vehicles were parked outside the store, lights flashing. Folge said Folaz showed the video to a police officer stating that the police could do nothing, because it was too late to implement the law. The officer encouraged her to post the video online and let social media do its work.
Target did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the incident.