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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jul 14, 2020

‘Burn Your Mask’ Protest Formed Outside Gov. Murphy’s Home

Photo Credit: Thomas P. Costello

This past Saturday, 50 frustrated New Jersey residents gathered outside Gov. Phil Murphy’s Middletown home to protest his mask mandate.

Murphy mentioned the gathering at his briefing yesterday. Some have referred to it as a “burn your mask” protest. However, he said no masks seemed to be burned during the protest.

It appears this isn’t the first time Murphy has had protestors show up at his house. He stated, “That has happened with some amount of regularity.”

Middletown Police Chief Craig Weber told NJ Advance Media that the police department was aware of the protest. Weber stated, “We didn’t have any issues.” He also said the protest was relatively “modest in scale.”

The protest appeared to be in response to the executive order signed last week enforcing masks to be worn in outdoor spaces when social distancing isn’t possible.

Protest attendee Pamira Bezmen stated in a video posted to Facebook, “We are fed up with Gov. Murphy single-handedly giving us orders top down. We are standing up not only for our rights, but for your rights, our children’s rights, so that we have some resemblance of humanity in our future.”

Murphy told NJTV last week, “People claiming that power has gone to my head, that I find some joy in making everyone put a face covering on is ludicrous.”

“Burn your mask” protests seem to have originated in North Carolina after the state’s governor, Roy Cooper, mandated that masks be worn in public. Those opposed to the order filmed themselves while burning masks and saying the face coverings were a “sign of control.”