The demonstrators at the "Liberty Rally" chanted "freedom" and "USA" as they demanded an end to the closures.
Local station WCVB reports that protesters had signs with slogans such as "tyranny is not leadership," "all jobs are essential," "media is the virus," and "end the shutdown."
The protest was organized by Super Happy Fun America, the group behind last year's Straight Pride Parade, and conservative local radio host Jeffrey Kuhner, according to a report from the Boston Globe.
In a statement provided to the press, Super Happy Fun America said that the shutdown is causing Americans to suffer and urged people to take a stand.
"Americans are suffering due to the unprecedented economic shutdown imposed by the government as a response to COVID-19," the statement said. "We are calling upon the citizens of our state to come out in force on May 4th to demand that the governor and his minions let the people get back to work and obey the Constitution."
"I'm not going to sugar coat this, America is committing national suicide," Kuhner told the crowd during a speech. "I see churches closed, I see an economic collapse, thousands of businesses bankrupt and shuttered — all of this for a lousy virus? For a contagious flu at the absolute worse? This Is not a pandemic."The stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 18, but will likely be extended. Prior to the start of the protest, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said that the state is likely "weeks away from announcing how a phased reopening could work."
"There won't be anyone firing a starting gun on May 18, saying, 'Everybody is off to the races.' But we do hope that certain types of businesses and workplaces will be able to begin resuming operations under the guidelines established through this process," Baker said.
Democrat Boston Mayor Marty Walsh had a similar take on the situation, saying "we're planning for what a reopening phase will look like, but we're not at a point where we can begin to reopen. We all need to stay the course right now so that we can keep saving lives."