‘God’s country not Cox country’: Demonstrators gather along road to governor’s inauguration

ST. GEORGE — Dozens of people gathered Monday morning along Tuacahn Drive in Ivins to have their voices heard on a variety of issues as dignitaries and invited guests made their way to the inauguration of recently elected Gov. Spencer J. Cox held at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts outdoor amphitheater.

Protestors gather along Tuacahn Drive during the inauguration of Gov. Spencer Cox, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 4, 2021 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

Organized by the Utah Business Revival and the Liberty Action Coalition, the message of the demonstration was freedom and liberty, Utah Business Revival founder Eric Moutsos said.

“We were designed to be free. God established this land, the United States of America, for freedom and liberty,” he said.

“Freedom plus good choices equals liberty,” Moutsos continued. “Freedom plus bad choices – which the government has done – equals bondage. And we are in bondage.”

Those in attendance were largely expressing their displeasure with statewide mask mandates, as well as business closures and restrictions enacted by former Gov. Gary Herbert due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and while Cox was lieutenant governor.

Protestors gather along Tuacahn Drive during the inauguration of Gov. Spencer Cox, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 4, 2021 | Photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

Moutsos said that Cox was originally against such mandates and that he said it wasn’t the proper role of government. Moutsos said the only thing that changed was that Cox won the election.

Larry Meyers, one of the organizers of the Liberty Action Coalition, echoed many of Moutsos’ sentiments.

“We’re just here because we want to share the message that Utah needs to be free,” he said.

Meyers continued:

We don’t want the governor, the government, the health department telling us how to live. We want to be able to operate our businesses the way we want to, we want to be able to gather and do the things together that we want to … We just believe that we have our rights and that the government shouldn’t be doing this in this time when they claim it’s a pandemic, but really it’s not anything different than we’ve had in the past and it’s just an excuse for the government to restrict us.

Demonstrators lined both sides of Tuacahn Drive near the entrance waving numerous flags, including “Don’t tread on me,” “Trump 2020” and the American flag. Additionally, several signs bore anti-mask and anti-vaccine slogans.

There were also some specific anti-Cox signs, and as cars approached the inauguration event, chants could be heard of “Go home,” “Go back to China” and “This is God’s country, not Cox country” – the latter in response to Cox’s campaign slogan “This is Cox Country.”

“He needs to see that there’s a whole bunch of people in the state of Utah that don’t agree with him,” Moutsos said.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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