On May 2, hundreds gathered at the Oregon Capitol in Salem to protest Gov. Kate Brown's stay-home orders.

While the event, called the ReOpen Oregon Rally, was billed as a protest to demand the governor lift her stay-home executive order, attendees advocated for causes that ranged across the conservative agenda.

In part, that's because Saturday's protest was a marshaling of political sentiments already rooted in Oregon before the virus hit.

Although he wasn't at the Salem rally and said he had no role in organizing it, one of the most vocal proponents of reopening Oregon and other Western states is Republican political consultant Jonathan Lockwood, who came to Oregon from Colorado and also does a lot of work in California.

Lockwood, 31, stirred up hornets' nests in both states, working against stronger vaccine requirements for schoolchildren—and it appears there's an overlap between the anti-vaxxers and those who are pushing hard to reopen the West from COVID closures. Lockwood formed the ReopenAmerica Project, a social media platform, and got Oregon state Sen. Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) and Colorado's House Republican caucus chair Lori Saine (R-Firestone) to sign on. His role was first reported by The New York Times.

Lockwood says the anti-vaxx movement has nothing to do with the ReOpen project. "People try to use slurs and suppress what people like me have accomplished and created because of one extreme bill they opposed," he says.

But he says there is a parallel. "I've noticed that the same problem with the complex issue of vaccine policy is present with the issue of reopening," he says. "We need leaders and policymakers to look at all the data, even that which challenges our assumptions, positions, and even deeply held values and beliefs."

As for who's funding his latest campaign, he says it's all him, calling the effort "a solution I created with self-dedicated energy, intention and funding."

One thing is certain: Some of the people attending the ReOpen Oregon Rally are skeptical of vaccines. How do we know? We read the signs. Here are the top seven most common types of signs we saw at Saturday's protest, plus some specific slogans.

  1. Trump-Pence 2020/Keep America Great/MAGA
  2. Don’t Tread on Me flags
  3. QAnon signs
    • “Q Sent Me.”
  4. Signs against Gov. Kate Brown
    • Kate Brown for Prison!”
    • “Down with Dictator Kate!”
    • “Oregon’s #1 Non-Essential Employee! You’re Fired Kate Brown!”
    • “I’d rather have COVID than KATE.”
    • “Gov. Brown I went to Church on Sunday. Please don’t arrest me.”
  5. General “Open the State” signs
    • “My business, my choice. Let Freedom Ring!”
      “All done with socialist distancing”
    • “FLATTEN the…unconstitutional government mandates!” (held by a child)
    • “CHURCH IS ESSENTIAL! Spiritual food is as important as physical food.”
    • “I should be at my kids softball and soccer games today!”
  6. Liberty/anti-government signs
    • “Our Constitutional Rights Are Essential.”
    • “When Tyranny Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty.”
    • “My inalienable rights do not end where your fear begins. Open up Oregon!”
    • “Stop the global takeover of America!”
    • “Live Free or Die. End Tyranny.”
  7. COVID doubters/anti-vaxxers
    • “Why are COVID-19 Deaths the Only Deaths Which Matter?”
    • “I’d rather take hydroxychloroquine than drink government KOOL-AID.”
    • “#bolognaVirus #Plannedemic”
    • “This is a mass vaccination campaign hosted by Bill Gates, Big Pharma + Fauci. Paid for by our jobs and economy.”
    • “Build up immune system not vaxx schedule.”