Blasting “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and other songs that represent rebellion and resistance, the Casa di Dolore tattoo parlor and piercing shop opened up in defiance of the state’s orders to remain shut down last Saturday.
Gathered in front of the parlor at 784 Broadway, Newburgh, were supporters from all over. Although most were from the local area, some came from Connecticut. Attendees waved American flags, “Don’t tread on me” flags, and signs protesting the state’s shutdown.
Passing drivers honked in support. Drivers passed by looking at the group in curiosity and confusion. One man on a truck waiting at a red light told the attendees to put on masks.
“All I really did was put out a message of freedom,” said Rob Minuta, owner of Casa di Dolore. He compared Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a “dictator” for the state’s regulations on businesses.
“We’re going to exercise our rights together,” said Minuta to the crowd in front of the shop. “It’s just amazing to see the unity of everyone. I’m so glad you all came out. It just shows that American spirit is still alive and Cuomo is a tyrant, and this is a direct representation of that.”
Minuta acknowledged the concerns over the novel coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic.
“We did shut down, and we feel like we did follow the guidelines to flatten the curve and not overwhelm the healthcare system,” said Minuta. He said he’s a former healthcare professional who worked in an emergency department.
“That would give me an upper hand on taking control of the environment of my business, and making sure we’re keeping infectious diseases completely gone,” said Minuta.
Minuta and Cuomo’s other opponents consider his executive orders to be “unconstitutional.”
“We are not breaking one single law by being here,” said Minuta. “We are defying executive orders.”
Minuta said that he did the reopening in compliance with local law enforcement. He said he made sure the reopening didn’t violate any local laws.
“I will not stand for any executive orders though,” said Minuta. “I am in complete defiance of those executive orders.”
“I am standing here as an American citizen to defend those rights, and I will do it until the death,” declared Minuta.
Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, spoke in support of Minuta. The Oath Keepers are a conservative group that is often touted by the media as a far right extremist group. Rhodes came all the way from Texas.
“We’re behind him 100 percent, and we’re behind him no matter what,” said Rhodes. “It’s critical.” Rhodes asked to be the first customer of the day, and got a “we the people” tattoo.
“We will not have those rights infringed upon,” said Minuta. “We will stand against that dictator we have, Gov. Cuomo, in this state.”