KANKAKEE — People — at least 300 or so in Kankakee County — appear ready to put an end to the government-imposed "stay at home" order put in place in late March by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

On an overcast late Thursday afternoon, about 300 mostly unmasked people rallied in front of the Kankakee County Courthouse to voice the need to end the order and allow businesses to reopen their doors throughout not only Kankakee County, but the entire state.

Organized by Bourbonnais resident Soleil Van Til, the event put together about one week ago was designed to let state public officials know that a segment of population has reached its breaking point.

The rally's main theme was freedom — both personal and public.

"Freedom is important. It's everything. It's essential," Van Til said in a reference to the advantage businesses and people have who carry such a designation.

With flags waving and signs being held high stating "Work is a Basic Right" and "Reopen America Now!" the mostly-well-behaved crowd broke out in applause when Van Til said the time had come for citizens to regain their rights.

"The virus is real. ... I'm not minimizing any of this. [But] we can move forward with reopening and protect those that need it," Van Til said. "We can do both."

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