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Despite desperate pleas from local and state officials for residents to remain trapped at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of Americans are choosing to violate “shelter-in-place” orders and flock to nearby beaches as temperatures throughout the nation begin to approach summer levels.
Over in Los Angeles, which according to CNN had as of Friday been expected to “bake in a summer-like heatwave through the weekend,” Mayor Eric Garcetti posted a desperate plea to Twitter begging “vulnerable” communities who lack air conditioning to visit the city’s so-called “cooling centers” instead of trotting off to the beach like normal people.
With high temperatures expected, @CountyofLA & @LACity will have cooling centers open tomorrow to offer respite for our most vulnerable from the heat. Physical distancing protocols & other safety measures will be observed. If you can stay home, please do. https://t.co/RulVSqtAQP pic.twitter.com/IePwkn8qys
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) April 25, 2020
The tweet was widely mocked. Not to mention ignored, as throngs of fed-up locals wound up not only flocking to Newport Beach and Huntington City Beach, both of which remain open, but also brazenly violating basic social distancing protocols.
— Chris Cristi (@abc7chriscristi) April 24, 2020
Today in Newport Beach. Wow.
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) April 26, 2020
Huntington Beach, California. 25 Abril 2020. Photograph: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images pic.twitter.com/1PeGQJf5NL
— Jose Luis Silva (@jlsilvavd) April 26, 2020
These huge crowds strongly suggest a large number of Americans are beginning to dismiss media-peddled coronavirus fear-mongering as more and more studies emerge showing that the virus is far less deadly than has been reported.
Yet as Americans are growing progressively weary of the fear-mongering, some local and state officials seem to be growing more and more authoritarian.
Over in San Diego County, authorities arrested multiple people on Saturday who’d been protesting at a beach against their local stay-at-home order.
Watch (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):
The arrests caught the attention of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s been highly critical of the Democrat-orchestrated “abuse of power” being practiced throughout California.
After officials in San Clemente recently covered a local skate park with sand to keep bored teenagers out, Cruz posted a tweet warning the youth that “this is what Big-government statist Democrats do — they take away your freedom.”
Responding to the latest “abuse of power,” he posted another tweet Saturday to remind California officials that it’s possible to protect public health without sacrificing constitutionally guaranteed liberties.
Ridiculous. Who would have predicted California would declare war on skaters AND surfers? Message to Big Government Dems: You can protect public safety & have reasonable social distancing WITHOUT trampling on individual Liberty & shutting down the outdoors. https://t.co/VOBkXXBuhl
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 26, 2020
The senator was joined by thousands of other critics.
THIS PANIC HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR! My hometown is giving $1,000 tickets for sitting in your car & walking on wide beach where people properly social distance INSANITY! This panic is concerning how easily Americans can be controlled. I worry about our future https://t.co/npO4eeBGQ9
— Wayne Dunlap (@wdunlap) April 25, 2020
Well thank Gawd those cops are keeping us safe from the beaches. 🙄 This is all so damn dumb.
— The🐰FOO (@PolitiBunny) April 25, 2020
Good thing they are letting the criminals out of jail to make room for these citizens.
— MontyinTexas (@FormerCruzGuy) April 25, 2020
I was just following orders….
We need a Nuremberg like trial to hold everyone who abused their power during it accountable.
— This-Is-Ridiculous (@ThisIsR73916224) April 25, 2020
Time to challenge these unconstitutional executive orders. This cannot go on indefinitely. We were told we were trying to “flatten the curve” now the goal has changed.
— Liz Bear (@elisebear12) April 25, 2020
Is that the only crime being committed in the area? Doesn’t the police have anything better to do? Arresting people who murder and rape would be top on my list! What a joke!
— Christine Stevens (@Christi66558181) April 25, 2020
— Josh From Arizona (@JoshFinkbeiner) April 25, 2020
As some critics noted, the same officials targeting people for protesting have also been responsible for releasing illegal aliens and convicted criminals onto the streets.
Whether or not officials — particularly those in San Diego County — have decided to heed Cruz’s advice should become clear by the end of Sunday.
Naomi Soria, a San Diego resident, has organized a lockdown protest for Sunday. She already faces charges, a fine and a possible warrant over another protest she promoted last week. If by the end of Sunday she’s locked up in a cell, it’ll be more than clear that officials have no intention of respecting their constituents’ freedoms.
As for the charges she already faces, Soria is being represented by the nationally renowned Center for American Liberty.
“Today, the San Diego Police Department informed a 27-year-old woman that she is being charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days and/or a $1,000 fine, for her participation in a peaceful protest on Saturday, April 18, 2020 in San Diego,” the law group announced in a press briefing last Wednesday.
“The Center for American Liberty, in coordination with the Dhillon Law Group, are providing her with legal representation.”
OUTRAGEOUS—”San Diego to Fine 27-year-old woman $1,000 for Peaceful Protest”https://t.co/kd1I6z7VC1
— Center for American Liberty (@Liberty_Ctr) April 22, 2020
That the authorities are attempting to punish an American citizen for practicing her right to peacefully protest hasn’t sat well with the center’s CEO, Harmeet K. Dhillon.
“The First Amendment guarantees the right to peacefully protest,” she said in a statement. “Our client participated in a responsible protest adhering to social distancing guidelines. She, along with other protestors, stood six feet apart on a public sidewalk.”
“It is outrageous that our client is being charged with a crime for participating in constitutionally protected activity. The right to assemble and to petition the government does not exist if there are topics that are off limit.”
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