Against Excessive Quarantine Favorite 



Apr 1 2020


Across United States

Protests against state stay-at-home orders have attracted a wide range of fringe activists and ardent Trump supporters. They have also attracted a family of political activists whom some Republican lawmakers have called "scam artists."

A family-run network of pro-gun groups is behind five of the largest Facebook groups dedicated to protesting the shelter-in-place restrictions, according to an NBC News analysis of Facebook groups and website registration information.

The groups were set up by four brothers — Chris, Ben, Aaron and Matthew Dorr — and have amassed more than 200,000 members collectively, including in states where they don't reside, according to an NBC News analysis based on public records searches and Facebook group registrations.

A Dorr brother created or is an administrator for the groups Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine, Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine, New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine, Minnesotans Against Excessive Quarantine and Ohioans Against Excessive Quarantine.

The Facebook groups started by the Dorrs each promote state-specific websites, which were registered with the same private registrar, and use similar language in their descriptions.

"It's time to OPEN UP PENNSYLVANIA and STOP Gov Wolf's Excessive Quarantine!" Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine's "About" section reads, referring to Gov. Tom Wolf. "Politicians are on a power trip, controlling our lives, destroying our businesses, passing laws behind the cover of darkness and forcing us to hand over our freedoms and our livelihood!"

Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantines, a private Facebook group with about 97,000 members, is hosting a rally called "Operation Gridlock" in Madison next week. At least 300 people have indicated that they will go to the event, which lists Ben Dorr as its creator.

The Dorrs' network of pages uses a strategy of data harvesting common in activist circles.

Their groups drive users to petitions on Dorr-registered websites, which collect users' email and home addresses. The groups repeatedly warn users not to use off-site petition platforms like

The websites ask users to enter their information to push for change.

"Want to stop the madness? Want to stop Walz? The direct connect tech in the link below was very costly but we're providing because it was SO EFFECTIVE," a post on Minnesotans Against Excessive Quarantine wrote, referring to Gov. Tim Walz. "Please, if you do nothing else. SEND. THAT. EMAIL."

Posted by jassim on

Staff rating: 

Can you describe more the creative tactics the campaign is using to activate folks into protesting, to activate congress into lifting the closure of businesses and shelter-at-home orders, and to generally amplify the campaign?