A small group of protesters gathered at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven Wednesday to speak out against state and local pandemic restrictions that have temporarily put them and others out of work.

Promoted heavily on social media ahead of time, the protest saw sharp backlash and was called off. Then it was back on.

Standing apart from each other, on Wednesday nine protesters and one counter-protester demonstrated.

“I’m not here to make anyone sick,” said Jason Cray, 51, who wore a mask with decorative baseball print and a Make America Great Again hat. “I’m here because people are struggling, families are hungry and people aren’t being paid.”

Mr. Cray is a laid-off construction worker and military veteran. When the town first banned construction to stem the spread of coronavirus, he said he was compliant, understood the threat and willingly stopped working.

New guidelines effective next week will allow one or two-person crews back onto job sites. Due to the restrictions, Mr. Cray said the company he works for does not have the ability to give him any hours. He said he will continue to live off his military pension.

“I can get by for a little while,” he said. “But I don’t think the Island can make it to the end of May like this.”

Drivers rolling through the busy Five Corners intersection showed both support and strong disapproval at the demonstration.

Chris Mayhew stood in a parking lot behind the protest, uninvolved and observing from afar. She said she is a traveling antiques dealer. With all venues canceled, she too is out of work and has a warehouse full of antiques collecting dust.

“I understand their frustrations. I’m frustrated, too,” she said. “But the germs don’t care that we are frustrated. And they are what is running the show.

“We can stand on the corner and wave our American flags all we want. But the virus doesn’t care,” she said.