Conservatives led by activist Glen Morgan held a civil disobedience protest against recently imposed event restrictions at the state capitol building in Olympia, Washington on Saturday.
Police had previously threatened pro-life and religious activists with arrests for holding demonstrations in the same area.
On Friday, police confirmed to the group that in order to prevent the situation from possibly escalating, they would suspend the restrictions indefinitely.
No violence or arrests occurred. The event was dubbed “Commit an Act of Free Speech.”
Washington State Representative Jim Walsh spoke out at the rally, the only elected official to do so.
Walsh slammed new rules imposed at the capitol grounds that would prevent demonstrations from being permitted during the COVID-19 emergency.
While acknowledging that the disease is deadly, Representative Walsh claimed that Governor Jay Inslee’s (D) response is “not based on science” but rather “consolidation of power.”
“God bless you all, and keep talking!” he concluded.
Following the rally, a few participants came to an unusual disagreement, accusing the others of being “fake Republican.”
Rally organizers had called for nobody to come in “militia” garb, and one activist came armed and wearing a mask.
Ted Cooke, a two-time Republican nominee for Washington House of Representatives, told the armed man (who was accompanied by a friend also open carrying) he was “riding on the coat-tails of the Republican Party.”
“You’re not a Republican” the armed man told him, before engaging in dialogue.
Ultimately, the two men shook hands. “I thought you guys were false flag, you guys thought I was false flag, it was a misunderstanding. I apologize,” said Cooke.
“Ok, alright, thank you.”