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Skaters strike back after city dumps sand onto skate park – bring on dirt bikes and shovels

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Skateboarders in one California city sent a clear message to their local government after it attempted to block their recreational activities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Skaters in the city of San Clemente were undaunted by the extreme measures taken to keep them out of a local park designed for skateboarding. Days after the city literally dumped 37 tons of sand on a local skatepark, skaters came armed with tools to dig out and were soon back to using the space again.

(Source: KUSI-TV)

San Clemente officials decided to turn the skate park into a sandbox after “no trespassing” signs were allegedly being ignored, according to KUSI-TV. Despite parks in California being shut down since April 1 amid coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, the park was still being frequented by people.

The city determined it would amp up efforts to enforce the social distancing rules with the extreme move which had recently been used in other cities, such as Venice where the city filed in a skate park and got the attention of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

The city flexed its muscle and brought in 37 tons of sand to dump on the park, naturally at taxpayers’ expense. The aggressive move only ended up creating a new attraction for dirt bike riders and also upset a nonprofit coalition of local families.

The San Clemente Skatepark Coalition had raised $50,000 to light the park and was not notified about the sand dump, according to KCAL-TV.

“We have a pretty far reach with the skate community, we would have been happy to spread the message,” the  nonprofit’s president, Stephanie Aguilar, said. “But there was no warning or anything.”

City officials claimed there was no cost for dumping the sand and clearing it would also have been cost-free, according to KUSI-TV.

Motocross videographer Connor Ericsson thought the move was “a big joke.”

“These kids are cooped up inside their houses,” he told KUSI’s Kacey McKinnon, noting they need to get out and “have some fun.” He explained how the dirt bike riders helped the skaters get back to some “social shredding” by clearing out the sand.  Ericsson posted an Instagram post Sunday showing the efforts.

“Took advantage of all the sand the city dumped into the San Clemente skatepark then helped some local skaters dig it all out so they could do some social shredding,” read the caption.

Armed with shovels and buckets, determined skaters actually cleared away the sand and the skate park became usable once again.

“LOOOL checkmate government dweebs … Turning skatepark into a dirt bike track now,” one Twitter user who re-posted the video commented.

“We’ve been coming here for fifteen years and now the city officials have taken the one thing we love to do, away,” Steve Haring, a San Clemente native, told KUSI before the sand was cleared. “This is our home and this is where we exercise. We’re able to social distance while also seeing our friends.”

Hundreds of protesters had gathered Sunday in downtown San Clemente to protest ongoing stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 crisis. Holding American flags and signs declaring “No Liberty, No Life, Re-open California,” the demonstrators – mostly without masks – joined the rally to protest the government’s shutdown of the state.

Meanwhile, Twitter users cheered on the resourcefulness of the San Clemente skateboarders.

Frieda Powers


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