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Report: Minnesota bar owner leads 200-person march after threats of 5-year liquor license suspension



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Nearly 200 individuals reportedly participated in a march Sunday against Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) executive order shutting indoor services for restaurants, according to multiple reports, reflecting the growing anger of business owners toward recently tightened statewide and local COVID-19 restrictions.

The owner of Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro, Lisa Hanson, organized the march after being faced with a potential five-year suspension of her liquor license for continuing to defy the executive order, CBS Minnesota reported Sunday.

“It’s time for us patriots to rise up, in a peaceful way of course, and to say, ‘Hey, enough is enough,’” Hanson reportedly said.

RELATED: Watch: Angry business owner crashes live news segment, rails against COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan

CBS Minnesota reported that, since mid-December, a temporary restraining order has been placed against The Interchange. Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Health has suspended its license and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for 60 days plans to suspend the bar’s liquor license.

“We are open for business,” Hanson said. “[We’re] staying open because we need to make money to pay bills.”

Hanson, according to CBS Minnesota, believes the state is unlawfully enforcing an order. If her bar continues to violate the executive order, it reportedly could lose its liquor license for a period of five years.

“We’re well aware of what the consequences could be,” Hanson said, according to CBS Minnesota. “Either I closed permanently or I opened fully, so I opened fully . . . and yes, I knew the risks going into that.”

Moreover, Hanson acknowledges that her effort is about principle at least as much as it’s about her bar, the news outlet wrote. As part of her stand-off with state authorities, CBS Minnesota reports that inside The Interchange are pocket-size United States Constitutions laid out on a counter, protest T-shirts on sale, and a tip jar that’s been converted into a legal fund.

“We believe that we will see victory in this,” Hanson added.

It should be noted that Hanson is entitled to a court hearing before any liquor license suspension can go into effect, the news outlet stated. She reportedly said she plans to consult with her attorney on how to proceed.

Similar protests against COVID-19 restrictions targeting indoor services in bars and restaurants have sprung up across the country in recent months. These tighter restrictions were issued during the late autumn, when coronavirus cases were skyrocketing across the U.S. and still continue to skyrocket during the holiday travel season.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village



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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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