A gathering of about 50 business owners and their supporters inside an Orchard Park gym shut down by Covid-19 restrictions turned into a confrontation with Erie County authorities Friday night.
The owner of the gym, Athletes Unleashed on California Road, described the gathering as a protest of the state’s “orange zone” regulations that have closed gyms, salons and other businesses deemed nonessential.
For bureaucrats to dismiss wealth-creating business owners as “nonessential” adds insult to the injury of being driven into bankruptcy for the sake of political posturing.
No one was cited and no arrests were made, according to two people who attended, but video of the incident shows an Erie County health inspector accompanied by three sheriff’s deputies arriving about 20 minutes after the gathering began.
It’s as if someone saw cars in the parking lot and ratted them out.
“I called this meeting together so we could protest the closing of small businesses, the handpicking of winners and losers,” [gym owner Robby] Dinero said.
Businesses are either crushed by the lockdowns or permitted to survive on an arbitrary basis, enraging business owners whose lives have been whimsically destroyed.
Dinero pointed out that authorities didn’t try to stop Black Lives Matter protests over the summer or celebrations of Joe Biden’s victory after the election. …
Neither the health inspector nor the deputies specified what rules Dinero and the people inside his gym Friday evening were breaking, Dinero said.
This isn’t the first time Dinero has put up resistance to COVID-19 tyranny. When he resisted being closed down in the spring, officials threatened to revoke his certificate of occupancy and to shut off his utilities.
Business owners are willing to deal with sensible restrictions, but they must be allowed to open or they cannot stay afloat. Someone has to generate wealth or there will be none for the government to redistribute.
Video of the confrontation at Athletes Unleashed has gone viral. We’ll see if it unleashes overdue pushback on a wider scale:
On a tip from Wiggins.
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