Anti-mask demonstrators successfully weaseled their way into an Ikea in California over the weekend, flouting the store’s and city’s mask mandates and infuriating other rule-abiding customers who had waited in line for their chance to shop.
The demonstration took place Sunday, Oct. 11 at the Ikea in Burbank, California. Sebastian Gurdel uploaded footage to YouTube the following day.
The video shows dozens of customers lined up and snaked around a barricade outside Ikea, where they must pass an employee before being allowed into the store. Customers were ostensibly required to wear masks and social distance while shopping.
A maskless man and woman approach the Ikea employee and appear to protest the mask rule, though their conversation is inaudible.
“So it seems like they’re making exceptions for them if they get their temperature taken,” the man filming the video, ostensibly Gurdel, says.
Gurdel then pans the camera down the line to reveal a troupe of anti-maskers who seem intent on proving a point to their fellow Ikea shoppers.
“They’re Trump supporters,” Gurdel says. “You can tell by their dumb red hats. They’re the entitlement group.”
Dozens of masked shoppers congregate in line behind the demonstrators. One middle-aged, anti-mask Karen looks back at the shoppers, smiles smugly, and says, “Y’all can join us.”
Shortly thereafter, a younger woman in a red hat—it’s unclear whether it’s a MAGA hat—walks past the Ikea employee and into the store. She yells, “You don’t have to wear a mask!” and is met with a chorus of boos from the other people in line.
“Go home!” some of them yell, while other people shout, “Shame on Ikea!”
Andrew Callaghan, the YouTuber and citizen journalist who runs the popular All Gas No Brakes YouTube account, was also documenting the anti-mask demonstration. (He has not yet uploaded any footage to YouTube.) When Callaghan asks the audience to yell “Shame on Ikea!” again, Gurdel declines and says, “Can you like sit, jump, roll over?”
The Ikea employee then addresses the rest of the line in an attempt to calm irate would-be customers.
“We are ensuring that everybody is temp-checked and social distancing,” he tells the crowd, to which somebody responds, “That’s not what your sign says.”
People in line continue to yell protests at the anti-maskers.
“Don’t make exceptions for the MAGA hats,” one customer shouts. “Being a MAGA hat’s not a disability!”
Adding insult to injury, Gurdel said in his YouTube video description that the anti-maskers appeared to have immediately left Ikea after entering, “showing they were only there to cause a scene and put others at risk.”
“What’s the point of having all those tents outside and making people wait for hrs if your [sic] just gonna let them in without a mask?” one YouTube commenter asked. “From the looks of the video you should have taken more time to make a more reasonable decision but caved in and put plenty of lives at risk including your fellow employees. We all need any chance to survive when we go out to a store!”
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