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Washington town hosts large anti-mask rally

Patriot Prayer, a far-right group whose past events have coincided with violence, organized for hundreds to visit the town of 820.

Hundreds of people came to the city of Mossyrock, Washington, last weekend to protest coronavirus public health restrictions, according to NBC affiliate KING.

The city of 820 people and its mayor, Randall Sasser, have attracted attention for defying state health orders aimed at combatting the spread of the coronavirus.

Sasser told radio station KIRO that he believes some of these measures are designed to "get us accustomed to always following what they say" for "something bigger that they have planned to keep us under their thumb," referring to gun control and monetary policy.

Sasser did not immediately respond to a NBC News email requesting comment on the status of state health orders and the weekend's event.

The Saturday gathering was organized by Patriot Prayer, a far-right group that has hosted pro-President Donald Trump and pro-gun rallies.

In August, the group said one of its members was shot and killed during violent street fights in Portland, Oregon. This weekend's event in Mossyrock was reportedly peaceful.

Patriot Prayer’s Facebook pages, including those of founder Joey Gibson, who was photographed this weekend in Mossyrock, were taken down in September as part of a broader Facebook effort to combat pages that “celebrated” violence.

The event reportedly attracted hundreds of people from out of town who told KING that they were fed up with Covid-19 restrictions.