On Friday, thousands of Wisconsinites gathered at the state Capitol in Madison to protest Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ “safer at home” order, recently extended to May 26.

The Wisconsin demonstration is believed to in the largest yet of a series of protests across the country opposing coronavirus-related restrictions, The New York Times reported. While Evers’ order will keep non-essential businesses closed through the end of the month, he also lessened some restrictions last week.

The protest was planned, funded, and promoted in part by Wisconsin Republicans and other prominent conservatives, including economist Stephen Moore, a member of President Donald Trump’s economic recovery task force, who told The Times an anonymous donor in Wisconsin will pay the legal fees for any protester who is arrested. 

The demonstration acomes as top Republicans in the state legislature are suing in the state Supreme Court to block Evers’ extension of the order on mainly administrative grounds.

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After the state Supreme Court sided with Republican legislators to block Evers’ attempt to postpone in-person voting for the state’s April 7 election, health officials have traced at least 19 positive cases of COVID-19 to the election. 

The protesters, many of whom violated social distancing guidelines and did not wear face-coverings, brought American flags, Trump regalia, and signs decrying the lockdown’s effects on the economy to the protest. 

Helicopter footage from ABC-affiliated news station WISN 12 showed the size of the protest from multiple angles 

—Tanner Kahler (@tannerkahler) April 24, 2020

Wisconsin-based freelance photographer Sam Li also captured the scope of the protest with a drone 

—Sam Li (@TheSamLi) April 24, 2020

—Sam Li (@TheSamLi) April 24, 2020

Multiple reporters were on the scene documenting the protest on the ground 

—Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) April 24, 2020

—Jason Calvi (@JasonCalvi) April 24, 2020

—Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) April 24, 2020

—The Badger Project (@Badger_Project_) April 24, 2020

—Steve Aveson (@StevenAveson) April 24, 2020

The day before the protests, a group of nurses placed candles around the Capitol to memorialize everyone who has died from COVID-19 in Wisconsin 

—Jim Malewitz (@Jmalewitz) April 24, 2020

Some medical workers also went to the Capitol to counter-protest 

—Molly Beck (@MollyBeck) April 24, 2020

—The Badger Project (@Badger_Project_) April 24, 2020

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