ROSEBURG, Ore. – A new organization has been formed in Douglas County that openly goes against Gov. Kate Brown and the decisions she’s made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to their website, the members of Citizens Against Tyranny believe that Brown is infringing on business owners and other organizations' rights with the coronavirus-related restrictions she has put in place.
If someone reports a business to the Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Administration or other state agencies for violating COVID-19 protocols, Citizens Against Tyranny leaders said they will ban that person from the businesses and organizations that support the group. They said it is punishment for supporting the governor’s decisions.
When the website went live in December, leaders published a list of people that have reported violations to OSHA in the past few months. The website said these names were found through public record requests. There were two names on the website before the list was removed last week.
KEZI 9 News spoke to one of the people listed. She wanted to stay anonymous, but she said they were both angry they were being targeted by the group. She said they didn’t feel like they did anything wrong.
“They’re talking about people’s freedom and constitutional rights, and then if you legally report someone who is violated public health, you don’t have the freedom of speech to do that,” she said.
The group has support from Republican State Sen. Dallas Heard of Myrtle Creek. He spoke about his support at an open meeting the group held last Friday, according to a Facebook Livestream.
However, the woman KEZI talked to said she didn’t feel like Heard should be involved with the group.
“I don’t think that anyone should do that, but especially not an elected official,” she said.
In a statement on Facebook. State Rep. Gary Leif of Roseburg said he was “distressed by the emerging news regarding the actions of Senator Dallas Heard and his possible connection to the Citizens Against Tyranny.” He said their responsibility is to represent all the people in their elected area and they have the duty to uphold the Constitution.
In a statement, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners said they do not support Citizens Against Tyranny and what they stand for. They said they do not believe it is right to ban certain people from businesses, especially those who are struggling during the pandemic. READ THE FULL STATEMENT.
KEZI 9 News reached out to leaders of Citizens Against Tyranny, but they did not get back to us. We also reached out to Heard multiple times, but he did not respond.