MORRIS COUNTY — Last weekend, Governor Murphy praised peaceful protests across New Jersey as “transformational” and stated publicly his support for these protests. Murphy said, “peaceful protesting is the way ultimately we get to the better place.”
On Saturday, May 30, before the current protests, Jennifer Rogers chose to exercise this right to fight against the injustice of people robbed, by order of Governor Murphy, of the ability to earn a living to feed their families, by holding a peaceful assembly of political leaders, business owners, and local community members. The rally was held at the Randolph Tennis Center with many businesses throughout New Jersey represented on the temporary tennis court fences. There were many speakers from the political and business communities in support of being able to reopen.
But instead of support from our governor, Jennifer Rogers received two court summonses.
Senator Anthony Bucco replied “The summons should have never been issued. I trust that the prosecutor and law enforcement will do the right thing and dismiss the complaints. If not, in my opinion, it is a clear violation of Ms. Roger’s constitutional rights.
“I was at the rally for small businesses and it was nothing more than a peaceful protest which took place on private property. This police department issued a summons to this group then one week later participated in a protest with another even larger gathering. We either have the right to protest or we don’t. We cannot pick and choose. This governor has created this type of pick and choose culture and it needs to stop,” said Assemblyman Brian Bergen.
Rob Zwigard said, “It’s unconstitutional for selective enforcement per the executive order… all should be allowed to protest equally under the law.”
Rogers said, “I agree with Governor Murphy that peacefully assembling in protest is key to moving toward a better future—whether we are speaking out against the horrific stain of racial injustice or fighting against dictates that lead to despair and loss of livelihood across our state.”
“But I reject our governor’s arrogance in assuming he gets to determine which causes are worthy of protest—and only those he deems worthy are allowed, while others are silenced and, as we now see, targeted,” she’s continued.
“The selective allowance of constitutional rights to some while others are being deprived of those very same rights is discrimination and violates paragraph 5 of Article 1 of the Constitution of the state of New Jersey, otherwise known as the equal protection clause. For the Governor to applaud protesters and Jennifer Rogers to be treated in this fashion design acceptable. The ongoing violation of Rights by the repeated extension of the Governor’s orders is damaging the lives of citizens all across the state of New Jersey. We should all stand with Jennifer Rogers against this kind of discrimination and demand that New Jersey reopen,” said Heather Darling.
Former Sussex County Freeholder Jonathan Rose stated “The fact that Jennifer Rogers received two summonses for her protest while Governor Murphy praised other protests shows both that the governor is stunningly hypocritical and has a callous disregard for the well being of our state’s small businesses. Governor Murphy may think that Ms. Rogers will roll over and accept the trampling of her rights, but she is a fierce warrior. The governor picked the wrong woman to mess with.”
“Thankfully, I know I am not alone. I’m grateful to the many fellow New Jersey residents who are also fighting to safely re-open businesses and restore livelihoods across New Jersey—including the members of the Randolph Township Council, who recently passed a resolution supporting a “safe, equitable and timely reopening of New Jersey’s businesses,” said Rogers.
If Governor Murphy thinks he will silence countless entrepreneurs, workers, and public servants across New Jersey with threats and attacks, he does not know the caliber of people he serves.
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