Prayer protest outside Albert Lea City Hall |

Prayer protest outside Albert Lea City Hall

Brett Bachtle
Created: May 11, 2020 10:42 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- We've seen several demonstrations and protests against Governor Walz's stay at home order. On Monday night, some in Albert Lea took a different approach to getting their message across to city leaders.
A few dozen people gathered outside of city hall for a prayer protest in which community members, leaders of religious groups, and small business owners prayed for city officials to open local businesses back up.
"Our city leaders, they need that guidance and direction also from God and from the community to know that we care and we're listening to them, we're praying for them,” said one organizer of the demonstration Debbie Proulx.
It was an emotional demonstration for people like Jean Miller who know how hard this time is not only for business owners, but for everyone and their mental health.
"I'm not going to live in my house in fear because if you're doing that, you're really not living,” Miller said.
Miller questions why big box stores are allowed to remain open while small mom and pop shops have to close their doors during this time.
"It's not right. If the economy crashes, our country's lost,” said Miller.
As the prayers began outside, inside local officials began their city council meeting. City manager David Todd says we can't lose sight that the governor's order is a protective measure.
"The governor's order being what it is doesn't allow them fully to reopen at this particular time, but that's a mandate set out by the state. The city, although we thoroughly appreciate and love our small businesses, we're also going to observe the rule of law at this time. What the governor puts out is what we're going to adhere to,” Todd said.
Todd hopes that the governor will take into account the peaceful protests like this one.

"The people in our community that are afraid, and there are a lot of them that are afraid, they needed to know that we're praying for them too and we're here for them,” said demonstration organizer Jenny Williams.

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