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PHOTOS: Hundreds Protest At State House To Call For Mass. To Reopen Amid Pandemic

About 500 protesters gathered outside the Massachusetts State House Monday, defying Gov. Charlie Baker's statewide ban on gatherings of more than 10 people and demanding the governor lift the shutdown of non-essential businesses in the state

A website at libertyrally-ma.com shared the details and logistics, writing "It's time to re-open Massachusetts and restore liberty."

Super Happy Fun America, which organized the so-called "Straight Pride" parade in Boston last year, said it was one of the rally's hosts, according to The Boston Globe.

The group's president, John Hugo, was also in attendance.

John Hugo, center, founder of Super Happy Fun America, cheers in front of the State House. Super Happy Fun America was the organization behind the "Straight Pride" parade in Boston in August 2019. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
John Hugo, center, founder of Super Happy Fun America, cheers in front of the State House. Super Happy Fun America was the organization behind the "Straight Pride" parade in Boston in August 2019. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Much of the crowd did not observe social distancing rules and not everyone wore a mask or face covering. Baker's order mandating masks or face coverings while in public spaces goes into effect Wednesday.

As of Monday evening, the state reported 4,090 deaths from the virus, with a total of 69,087 cases. The number of coronavirus patients in Massachusetts hospitals has slowly but steadily ebbed, according to the most recently available data.

Last week, Baker announced the formation of an advisory panel comprised of government officials and business and health care leaders that will determine how and when Massachusetts' economy will be able to open safely. It's led by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and is expected to deliver a plan and report by May 18.

Last month, a small group gathered outside Baker's Swampscott home to demand the state reopen. A few other people held up signs supporting Baker.

Below are photos from Monday's protest.

(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Talk radio host and political commentator Jeff Kuhner addresses the crowd in front of the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Talk radio host and political commentator Jeff Kuhner addresses the crowd in front of the Massachusetts State House. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)
(Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Jesse Costa Twitter Photographer, Multimedia Producer
Jesse Costa is the multimedia producer for WBUR.

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Meghan B. Kelly Twitter Multi-platform Editor
Meghan is the multi-platform editor for WBUR.

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