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BELLMAWR, New Jersey, January 14, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The owner of a New Jersey gym who has fought to keep his business open during the COVID lockdown said that overnight the gym’s bank account was 100% drained of its funds by the state government.
Atilis Gym co-owner Ian Smith released the shocking news in an Instagram video posted last night which, as of this writing, has been viewed over 370,000 times.
“As of this morning, without warning, and without permission, and in the middle of litigation, Governor Murphy took it upon himself to empty our bank account entirely, to the tune of $165,000,” explained Smith.
“This will not stop us. We will not stand down,” declared Smith.
“We will continue to fight this fight because we know, based upon what is outlined in the Constitution, that when we get to the right courts and in front of a judge who respects the Constitution, we will win this case,” he continued.
“And we will make sure that no governor, or no government official, will ever wield these powers ever again,” he added.
“We are now in our eighth month of a very nasty, long and drawn out legal battle against Governor Philip Murphy and Judith Persichilli at the Health Department here in New Jersey,” he said.
The gym now faces a $15,497.76 fine per day for every day it remains open.
Many small businesses are being forced to close temporarily or even permanently under the strain of a second wave of government-imposed COVID shutdowns.
This is totally and thoroughly wrong...especially when big business, government, and large segments of the professional world are totally insulated from the repercussions of the shutdowns.
Something drastic needs to be done now!
SIGN this urgent petition calling for state legislatures to cut the salaries of governors and mayors who are responsible for closing small businesses by enacting draconian COVID shutdown measures.
The bottom line is that the people imposing shutdown measures need to feel the bite of the restrictions they are imposing on other peoples' livelihoods so that they have a personal incentive to re-open their economies and make accommodation for the survival of small businesses.
Local restaurants, cafes, gyms, clothiers, bookshops, florists, and many more, are being forced to shut their doors, some forever.
Americans who have spent their entire lives building their business - and, taken all of the risk - stand to lose everything.
But, the following are all considered essential and never get shut down: lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, courts, big corporations, and the media...
And, to add insult to injury, some politicians who are imposing these shutdowns, like Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, are actually getting huge pay raises starting in the new year. Cuomo's raise is $25,000 next year alone!
This is utterly scandalous! It is time to say enough is enough!
If small business owners are being CRUSHED by government COVID restrictions, the politicians responsible should also feel the BITE of those restrictions!
This is the only way to make the "political class" understand how devastating their shutdowns truly are to small business owners and their employees.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, supply millions of jobs to people across the country, and ironically provide the taxes used to fund the programs so loved by most of the governors and mayors.
Because of the nature of small and medium businesses, their owners and workers are on the frontlines of the COVID crisis.
They need to be rewarded for this bravery, not closed down.
Accommodation needs to be made for small businesses so that they can weather this storm and thrive after it has passed. These are businesses we all love using, and we want them to be there long after COVID is just a bad memory.
When this is all over, do we really want every coffee shop to be a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, or every restaurant to be a McDonald's?
The answer is not only "no," but "Heck, no!"
Therefore, governors and mayors need to be personally incentivized to do everything in their power to see that small and medium businesses can survive and thrive - AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
That's why we're calling on state legislators to cut the salaries of all governors and mayors who are imposing draconian shutdowns where no accommodation is being made for small businesses.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition today!
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
“We also have ongoing litigation against the eighty municipal and criminal charges against us; ongoing litigation in the case of the revocation of our business license without due process; and the unconstitutional health department shut-down that was placed upon us in the first place,” explained Smith.
Smith and his business partner, Frank Trumbetti, have struggled to keep their business open and to serve their customers since the early days of the pandemic lockdowns. The embattled small business has been the focus of national news stories, depicting the legal and police harassment it has faced.
The partners have remained resolute in their stance that they should be allowed to keep their business open while they follow the best practices of sanitation and social distancing.
“Over 105,000 people have come into his gym,” said conservative podcast host Sara Carter, after speaking with the other co-owner, Frank Trumbetti.
“None have contracted COVID. They have very stringent cleaning regulations. It didn’t matter,” said Carter.
“They took all of his money. They’re fining him. We are living in unheard of times, people,” added Carter.
In July the two owners were arrested as police boarded up their gym. They were charged with fourth-degree contempt, obstruction, and violation of a disaster-control act, according to the state prosecutor.
Governor Murphy had ordered all gyms and other businesses to shut down on March 21, 2020.
Contact New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy: 609-292-6000.
Here’s the full text of Iam Smith’s video message:
Here at the Atilis’s Gym at Bellmawr we are now in our eighth month of a very nasty, long and drawn out legal battle against Governor Philip Murphy and Judith Persichilli at the Health Department here in New Jersey.
Most of you listening to this probably have at least some idea of what we’ve been through in the past eight months. Most recent update as of yesterday was the implementation of a $15,497.76 fine per day for every day that Atilis Gym Bellmawr opens its doors to its members.
Now, we have ongoing litigation in the matter defending ourselves against the unconstitutional and oppressive nature of these fines. We also have ongoing litigation against the eighty municipal and criminal charges against us; ongoing litigation in the case of the revocation of our business license without due process; and the unconstitutional health department shut-down that was placed upon us in the first place.
As of this morning, without warning, and without permission, and in the middle of litigation, Governor Murphy took it upon himself to empty our bank account entirely, to the tune of $165,000.
Now, as we do not charge our members, and have not charged our members since April 1, we have fought this legal battle and paid our bills entirely on donations from you guys, as well as tee-shirt and merchandise sales in-store and online.
This will not stop us. We will not stand down.
We will continue to fight this fight because we know, based upon what is outlined in the Constitution, that when we get to the right courts and in front of a judge who respects the Constitution, we will win this case.
And we will make sure that no governor, or no government official, will ever wield these powers ever again.
So this will not stop us.
We are asking for your continued support in any way possible. Please share this video on all platforms as much as you can. Continue to keep our story in the forefront. If you can donate, please donate. We have a secure fund now being started for ongoing litigation. If you want to buy some merchandise, we will get it out to you as soon as possible.
We truly thank every single person who has helped us along the way over the past eight months. I can’t say that or stress that enough.
This is the most important thing that Frank and I have ever done, and we are going to see it all the way through.
Thank you guys very much. If there is an update on the matter, I will post it.