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'I Will Not Comply' protest planned in Martin County over new mandatory mask order

Organizer says some plan to exclusively shop in St. Lucie County, where masks aren't required
Posted at 10:03 PM, Jul 09, 2020

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A protest is being planned in Martin County over whether or not residents should have to comply with the county's new mandatory mask mandate.

It's scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the corner of U.S. Highway 1 and Monterey Road.

The organizer, Brittney Mozingo, said commissioners overstepped when they passed the order.

"You're putting the American people against each other and that's absolutely the opposite of what county government should be doing," Mozingo said.

She said residents are now threatening to shop exclusively in St. Lucie County ,where masks are not mandatory.

"I think we're going to see a big hit to Martin County businesses because of this, and I think that's an unfortunate side effect that maybe was not thought of," she said.

At the Cotton Island Company in downtown Stuart, owner Michelle Davis said business has not been its best.

"It's been awful," Davis said. "We sell our face masks here. That's actually how we're paying rent right now is selling face masks. I'm wearing it (a mask) as an abundance of caution, and I'm glad when my customers have it on to make me feel safe as well."

RELATED: Mandatory mask debate heats up as Florida coronavirus cases climb

Davis said that other businesses are struggling as well.

"We're all just a little crushed right now," she said. "There is at least three businesses that will not be opening their doors again that I know of. Several businesses are for sale at the moment."

Mozingo said she is not absolutely against masks and that she does wear them when she feels they are necessary.

She said Saturday's protest is about an overreach of county government and that commissioners should be making decisions based on what their constituents believe.

WPTV contacted St. Lucie County leaders for comment.

The county's communications director, Erick Gill, said he has received emails from residents who are threatening to shop exclusively in Martin County because masks are mandatory there.