On Thursday April 16, community members gathered around the Waxahachie Courthouse to protest for their rights, because of the COVID-19 restrictions currently enforced in the state of Texas.

Rita Cook, a writer with the Ellis County Press, posted a video explaining the “Honk-a-Thon protest.”

“I’ve never felt so strong about being an American, particularly being a Texan,” Cook shared. “I’ve lived in other countries and right now, this is what we can do in America and not be executed.”

Community members circled the courthouse chanting “open Texas” and waving American flags around.

“Right now we are looking at our constitution and the rights that are possibly being taken away from us.., but people are driving around at noon all over the state,” Cook said “This is a bad thing COVID-19 but it’s worse when you don’t have your rights. People are saying here, “We need our jobs back,.”

Paul Perry, Ellis County commissioner, spoke with Cook on his way out of the courthouse.

“It’s people’s right to show their displeasure and concern, a lot of people ,” “We’re gonna see foreclosure’s, we’re gonna see a lot of things, issues, from this and it’s time we put people back to work.”

Perry also said he would not support the mandatory wear of medical masks in Ellis County.

“I encourage people to follow most of those protocols most of the time, I think it’s a wise thing to do.” Perry said.

Ellis County Judge, Todd Little, then shared his thoughts on the “Honk-a-Thon,” through a statement.

Little said, “Today a small number of Ellis County residents offered their sentiments concerning the government response to COVID-19, we must continue our reasoned and vigilant response to our fight against COVID-19. In Ellis County we continue to remain consistent with President Trump, the Center for Disease and Control Prevention and Governor Abbott’s mitigation efforts aimed at protecting the health and safety of our communities. I myself am a local business owner here in Ellis County. We want our local businesses to open as soon as practical and in a safe manner. We all understand the impacts of COVID-19, on our residents and small businesses here in Ellis County and in the state of Texas but we also recognize that there could be a negative effect on the health, safety and farewell on Ellis County residents if we open before we are ready. We have seen Ellis County residents come together in Texas Spirit to protect public health and save lives. President Trump has released guidelines on opening up America again, as Governor Abbott continues to relay the details on his plans to safely reopen businesses across the state. We look to the future with hope. Together we will show the resilience of Texans and we will defeat COVID-19 and we will be watching the governor very closely here at the Ellis County courthouse, and then we will implement strategies to open up Ellis County businesses as quickly as practical.”