We are in the midst of holiday season and individuals are trying to find hope and cheer in such a horrid year. Small Business Saturday was a very important day for many small businesses around the state with downtown Boise being no exception. After pouring their lives into their business' owners have had to endure a lot this year. From closures, to not knowing if they will be able to keep their business, to trying to keep up with ever changing rules, mandates and health safety measures to keep their staff and customers safe.

On Small Business Saturday over the weekend, many of these businesses where starting to finally see some sales and happy customers getting ready for the holiday season. That is until about 20 businesses were targeted by anti-mask protestors. The group claimed the business' mask policies were illegal and 'served' the owners paperwork threatening legal action against the business and the owners. When asked to leave or put on a mask the group refused and instead intimidated and threatened the businesses. The confrontations were filmed, live streamed and uploaded to their Facebook group Civil Rights Mask Movement. The group hit about 20 active business locations downtown.

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KTVB reached out to the Boise Police who said they had 19 calls from business owners on Saturday. They responded but were never able to catch up with the group who was constantly on the move. BPD were able to reach out to some members of the group (maybe through their social media page?) and had a conversation with them about the public health order and their activities. Police is following up with businesses and the prosecutors and says there still could be citations stemming from what happened.

Regardless if you believe in masks or believe in the pandemic at all, to go in and bully, intimidate and threaten fellow Idahoans who are doing everything they can to keep their livelihood open, operational, safe and lawful is appalling to me. There are other ways to get your point across.

 

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