September 16, 2020
Video showing a group of mask-less demonstrators parading through a Target store in Florida and hollering at customers take off their masks has gone viral on Social Media.
Anti-Maskers March Through Shop Chanting ‘Take Off Your Mask!’
The video, apparently taken by someone shopping in the store, popped up on Reddit, and later on Twitter. It shows some protesters wearing red MAGA shirts or hats and bellowing, “Take it off.”Anti-maskers in Florida invade a Target pic.twitter.com/Z8TWbl8ihD— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) September 16, 2020One participant was Cristina Gomez, who shared a livestream of the protest as she marched through the Target in Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday.
In the livestream, Gomez and others in the group can be heard shouting, “Take your mask off!” and cheering on customers to join them. They blasted the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.
“If an infant doesn’t wear a mask, then no one should wear a mask,” says Gomez in her livestream, before adding: “People looking at us like, ‘What’s going on?’ Isn’t it crazy how people now look at me like we crazy because we don’t have a mask on? I think y’all crazy for having a mask.”
Neither Gomez nor Target immediately answered HuffPost’s requests for comment.Another protester, Nathan Babcock, told HuffPost that he thought it was successful and plans to join similar events in the future. 
“It’s your right to do what you want, like it’s my right to do what I want,” Babcock said. “If you want to wear a mask and think [it] makes you safer ...that’s absolutely you’re right, 100%. Just don’t force me to wear a mask ... because it’s my right not to wear one.”
Babcock said he joined a protest at the store because “all our city halls are closed” and he wanted to express himself: “We have no voice in what is being done to us. That’s why we have had to organise and protest the lockdown,” he said.
Before the protest, Gomez had promoted it with a graphic on her Facebook page, calling it an “anti mask flash mob.”Target, like many retail chains, requires shoppers to wear masks or face coverings, except for those with medical conditions and for young children. The store where the anti-mask protest was held greeted telephone callers with a recorded reminder that face masks are required and that disposable masks will provided if needed. 
Gomez made waves in June at a public meeting of Palm Beach County commissioners, where she gave an animated speech against the local mask mandate.
“You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask knowing that that mask is killing people,” she said. “Every single one of you that are obeying the devil’s laws are going to be arrested and you, doctor, are going to be arrested for crimes against humanity.”
Video of those comments also went viral:This angry Florida woman argued today against the mask mandate, while bringing up the devil, 5G, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, "the pedophiles" and the deep state. Enjoy... pic.twitter.com/yqKUZNQYLQ— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) June 24, 2020Currently, 34 states and the District of Columbia mandate face coverings in public spaces. Florida is not among them, but some localities in the state have mask requirements.
Nearly 200,000 people have died from Coronavirus in the United States. Florida has logged more than 12,700 deaths. A HuffPost Guide To CoronavirusWhat should you still be disinfecting to prevent COVID-19?Is it possible you had coronavirus earlier this year?How can you manage your anxiety as coronavirus restrictions lift? Here’s the latest on how long COVID-19 antibodies last.How will COVID-19 change your office?Laid off and lost your health insurance? You have options.Everything you need to know about face masks right now. Find all our coronavirus coverage here.Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.
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