A single mother in a small Minnesota town has been targeted by the sheriff’s office after saying she would not comply with the governor’s closure orders and would keep her bar open.
Larvita McFarquhar, who owns Havens Garden in Lynd, posted several videos to Facebook in which she spoke out in defiance of the Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders.
The black small business owner claims that she refuses to ‘agree with these outrageous demands’ despite the rising coronavirus cases in the state.
She faces fines and even jail time if she goes ahead with the opening, according to Alpha News.
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Larvita McFarquhar, who owns Havens Garden in Lynd, Minnesota, states that she will defy Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 executive orders and continue to open her bar
She says that she was threatened with jail time for refusing to close
McFarquhar first posted a video on November 19 in which she said that her bar would be opening on November 27 for an open mic night.
‘I’m here at Havens Garden asking everyone to join us November 27 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for Open Mic Night,’ she said in the video.
‘Come down and have a good time here at Havens Garden in Lynd, Minnesota.’
‘I believe it’s more irresponsible of a governor to think he can mandate, Dictate and over step his boundaries,’ she wrote below the video.
‘And we as Americans go along with it.’
However, after posting the video, she was approached by the Lyon County sheriff’s office, asking her if she was aware that opening her bar was against state orders.
She claims that a deputy also contacted the DJ she had scheduled to play at the event and threatened to arrest him if he performed.
As of November 21, bars and restaurants in Minnesota are prohibited from offering in-person service under Walz’s latest executive action as the governor attempts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
The order is set to stay in effect until at least December 18.
Yet McFarquhar decided to take a stand, claiming that ‘the governor does not pass laws’ and she should be allowed to open.
‘No person in power has the authority to shut down a business for no reason, and pick and choose who can stay open and who cannot,’ she said.
‘For me, it’s [about] taking a stand. We always want other people to do things, but it’s time that we the people stand up and say, “no, we’re not going to agree with these outrageous demands”.
‘I said, “yes, I’m aware, but are you aware that the governor’s mandate is not a law?”‘ she added when questioned about the questions from the sheriff’s office.
‘The governor does not pass laws and you are supposed to uphold the Constitution. You don’t work for the governor, you work for us.’
The bar owner has been consistent opponent to coronavirus closures in the state
On Monday, the state Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office got involved, sending McFarquhar a letter laying out the order’s terms and calling on her to respond stating that she would not continue to open.
It added that if she was found guilty of breaking the order, she could ‘be punished by a fine not to exceed $3,000 or by imprisonment for not more than a year’.
As of Friday morning, McFarquhar planned to continue with the event but posted another video warning patrons that they could also face a $1,000 fine if they attended.
‘What does it say about our country, and Governor Walz when he uses our Sherrifs department, Attorney General and our citizens to harass, threaten, bully, intimidate, coerce with fines, litigation fees, loss of licenses, and jail time for wanting to be open,’ she wrote alongside the video.
‘They are not going after hardened criminals, they are going after our small BUSINESSES! Thank you to everyone who is standing with me.’
‘I’m not going to give up my liberties, I’m not going to teach my daughters to give up their liberties, and I want them to learn how to fight,’ she added to Alpha News. ‘If I’m not that example — which is very hard for me — who else is going to do it?’
On Monday, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office got involved, sending McFarquhar a letter laying out the order’s terms and calling on her to state that she would not continue to open
The bar owner has been consistent opponent to coronavirus closures in the state and says that the last few months have been ‘horrible’ as business owners struggled to stay afloat.
‘These are the things that you have to struggle with. I’m struggling to keep my lights on,’ she added. ‘The thing that makes me mad during this whole thing is we still have to pay our bills. I have to still pay taxes on the building.’
McFarquhar reopened her bar in May, holding prayer services and gym practice as well as serving food in the town of less than 500 people.
‘A look into what the Governor says is a nonessential business,’ she wrote in a Facebook on May 21 as the state’s first closure orders were rescinded.
‘Day three: we are OPEN, and taking reservations! Large families, small families, friend groups, all are welcome!!’
In April, she had joined a group of small business owners who challenged Walz’s executive orders, claiming that larger businesses were not targeted with closures in the same way.
The group, called Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition, filed a lawsuit claiming that the governor’s order violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which provides equal protection under the law.
Minnesota’s total confirmed cases are at 289,303, double the number from 28 days ago
One quarter of the state’s deaths from coronavirus have also been in the past month
‘Don’t tell me I am selfish for wanting to reopen my business,’ she told the Minnesota Star Tribune at the time.
‘We do know how to take care of ourselves and how to make people safe. This is about common sense.’
‘This is about our freedom as Americans and is not about the money,’ McFarquhar added. ‘They have taken everything away from us out of fear, and I don’t want to be fearful.
‘Trying to make small businesses successful in smaller towns and less populated areas is hard enough without more government restrictions.’
McFarquhar’s latest defiance comes as hospitalizations from coronavirus in Minnesota reach new highs and cases continue to rise.
The state dashboard shows 1,812 patients were being treated for COVID-19 in Minnesota hospitals as of Tuesday, triple the number from one month ago.
On Wednesday, Minnesota also matched its record number of deaths with 72 reported that day.
It also reported 6,399 new daily cases, the fifth highest number in the country over the past seven days.
Its total confirmed cases are at 289,303, double the number from 28 days ago. The figures mean five percent of the state’s residents have onw been infected.
There have been 918 deaths, a quarter of which were reported in the past month.
Th rising cases caused Gov. Walz to bring in the order as residents were urged to stay at home for Thanksgiving.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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