MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A few hundred people gathered on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol Saturday afternoon to show their support for police, and to urge Gov. Tim Walz to end the emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group was led by the Minnesota Patriot Alliance and Minnesota Rising. They rallied, sang and listened to speakers on the Capitol steps for a few hours.

However, tensions built when counter protestors showed up. Minnesota State Patrol troopers stood as a barrier between the clashing groups.

Joy Villa is a singer and author who flew in from California to be part of Saturday’s rally.

“I just reacted because I hate bullies, I hate people who try to shut other people down just because we disagree,” said Villa.

The rally comes a day after Minnesota’s peacetime emergency was extended during the fourth special session, which gives Walz the power to react to the virus without waiting for approval from the legislature.

Senate Republicans voted to block the extension. House Democrats upheld it.

A group of Minnesota farmers made their way from Wolf Lake to the State Capitol by tractors. It is a trip that would normally take about 3.5 hours by car, but instead took them 15 hours over the course of two days by tractors.

“Maybe it’s our new normal is that we’re going to have to become more involved in the government process,” said Dale Hillukka, who drove one of the tractors.

He said he showed up to this rally to send Walz a message.

“What we’re looking for is to open up Minnesota, drop the executive powers, drop the emergency powers,” Hillukka said.

He says the long trek was worth it because they know their tractors are hard to ignore.

“Thousands of people drove past our convoy on the way down and they got the message,” he said.

Comments (2)