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Albert Lea business goes through with protest event

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Protest sign at The Interchange

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro hosted a peaceful protest Friday night against standing executive orders by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz.

According to the Interchange's Facebook page, the peaceful protest was made possible by a stimulus check from the state.

"This is very scary," said owner Lisa Hanson back on the first day her business defied the governor's executive orders back in December,"We follow the laws. We don't like to buck the system. We don't want to cause trouble. We don't want to offend anybody."

The Albert Lea business now facing a $9,000 fine as part of the state's civil case. In addition to that, Hanson received six misdemeanor criminal counts for defiance of the order as observed by state inspectors.

"Again, thank you guys for all your support," said Hanson in an online video Friday. "The heat has been turned up from the state towards us. Of course it's going to happen because of our stand."

But, with restrictions now eased, what is she protesting?

"Good question," replied Hanson. "Here's what we're protesting: the shredding of our constitutional rights. Meriam-Webster defines dictator as a person granted absolute emergency powers. Sound familiar? We are going to be protesting the guy who sits up in his ivory tower in St. Paul."

Hanson also released this statement Friday night.

We the People, as living breathing Men and Women of Minnesota and the United States of America, are standing firm upon our unalienable rights protected by the Constitution of the United States and the state of Minnesota.
What Mr. Walz, Mr. Eillison, along with the department of health at state and local levels, the liquor board, city councils, county boards, are doing, is trespassing on our rights. They are not only in violation of the oath of office they each took, they are committing a multitude of crimes against We the People, including domestic terrorism, a violation of the USA Patriot Act of 2001. We are prepared to, and have obtained assistance of counsel to address these crimes and violations of our rights.
Legislators, Governors, health departments, Attorney Generals, were never given authority to control the behavior of the People as we read in the US Supreme court decision, "All laws, rules and practices which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void."
Marbury v. Madison
Elected and/or appointed officials simply do not have the authority to rule make. "Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."
Miranda v. Arizona
Standing upon our unalienable rights that are supported by Supreme Court rulings, we invite all businesses to open and resume operations as normal. We also advise any government official, that if they interfere with any of our unalienable, Constitutional rights, or retaliate against, we will seek remedy in both professional and private capacities.

Lisa Hanson, The Interchange

"There's some people that just don't understand what we're doing," said Hanson. "They absolutely don't see it or understand. A lot of people are living in fear after almost a year of fear-mongering from social media and news sources."

Freeborn County reported 11 new COVID-19 cases Friday. It's registered almost 200 in the past two weeks and a total of more than 2500 cases and 23 deaths since the pandemic began.

Attorney General Keith Ellison said earlier this week that it was sad to see so little concern for the health of customers, employees and community.

Hanson does not see it that way.

"I believe that we offer a very safe environment for people to come into," said Hanson. "Whatever happens to The Interchange, I want you to know that I will personally continue in this fight."

Hanson is due in court to plead to the charges on Thursday at 11 a.m.

Alex Tejada

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