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The civil rights lawsuits against California keep growing by the day, with the latest one targeting both Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Highway Patrol over their refusal to allow lockdown protesters to hold additional demonstrations at the state capitol.
Filed by Sacramento gun club firearms instructor Ron Givens and Sacramento congressional candidate Christine Bish, a Republican, the joint suit alleges their demonstration permits were rejected by the CHP after interference from Newsom.
According to The Sacramento Bee, following a particularly “boisterous” demonstration on April 20th — one not organized by either Givens or Bish, FYI — that allegedly not only violated Newsom’s controversial “stay at home” order but also violated social distancing protocols, the CHP stopped accepting demonstration applications.
Scenes from that demonstration may be seen below:
PROTEST UNDERWAY: Massive crowd gathers at California’s state capitol to protest Gov. Newsom’s stay-at-home order.
Updates: https://t.co/SecupsQgvb pic.twitter.com/uoZpVKuAGk
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) April 20, 2020
NOW: Protest at California State Capitol against #COVID19 #StayHome order. CHP permit to organize is for 500 people @kcranews pic.twitter.com/8WgXUDeEKc
— Vicki Gonzalez (@VickiGonzaleztv) April 20, 2020
“Permits are issued to provide safe environments for demonstrators to express their views. In this case, the permit for the convoy was issued with the understanding that the protest would be conducted in a manner consistent with the state’s public health guidance,” CHP said in a statement following the protest.
“That is not what occurred, and CHP will take this experience into account when considering permits for this or any other group.”
Givens, who serves as the chief instructor at the Sacramento Gun Club, alleges in the suit that he specifically requested a large swath of space for his demonstration to ensure it would not turn out the same as the April 20th one.
“In Givens’ permit application, he stated his plans to abide by the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines, and designated the entire grounds for the State Capitol Building for the protest, to ensure that he and other protesters had enough space for social distancing (i.e. a minimum of six feet between households),” the suit reads. “After the application was submitted, a CHP officer reached out to Givens to verify his identity.”
“The officer reached out again on the morning of April 24, 2020, inquiring as to why Givens required the entirety of the State Capitol Building grounds for his protest. Givens explained that he required sufficient space for all of his fellow protesters to maintain social distancing. The officer agreed with Givens that upon that basis, the request was a good idea.”
Yet despite the officer agreeing with him, later that same day CHP turned around and rejected his application.
“By banning protests generally, and denying Givens’ permit specifically, Defendants have deprived Givens of the opportunity for airing his grievances against the government, including the State’s failure to conduct timely background checks for those wishing to purchase a gun and restrictions on speech activities,” the suit continues.
“Because the protest seeks to challenge Defendants’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak, it cannot be delayed until after the threat of that outbreak subsides and the State Order is lifted.”
Givens has faced accusations from some left-wing social media activity that he’s “trying to kill people,” but as seen below, he hasn’t taken the criticism lying down:
That would be liberals who EVERYDAY kill Americans, unborn babies and act as tyrants as in this case. But hey: Thanks for the mention!! https://t.co/WTXhwMfBI1
— Ron Givens (@TheRonGivens) April 27, 2020
As for Bish, she’s made similar allegations.
“Bish says in the suit that she applied last Thursday to hold a May 2 rally at the Capitol to protest Newsom’s stay-at-home order and that she, too, planned ‘to practice social distancing and wear masks,'” the Bee notes.
Yet her request was also denied.
Both she and Givens are reportedly being represented by D. Gill Sperlein and Harmeet Dhillon, the latter of whom is leading a slew of suits against Newsom, including one targeting him over his unprecedented attacks on religious freedom.
One suit filed two weeks ago on behalf of three pastors and one parishioner specifically targets the governor for violating their First Amendment right to freedom of religion and assembly, especially in light of the waivers being granted to “favored businesses.”
“The state and localities have granted sweeping exceptions to the shutdown orders for favored businesses and professions, while specifically targeting people of faith and decreeing to religious institutions that it is ‘good enough’ that they be allowed to offer streaming video services,” Dhillon said when the suit was launched.
“The state does not get to dictate the method of worship to the faithful. If a Californian is able to go to Costco or the local marijuana shop or liquor store and buy goods in a responsible, socially distanced manner, then he or she must be allowed to practice their faith using the same precautions.”
The @Liberty_Ctr filed for a TRO in our suit against California and local officials for discriminating against religious institutions. State ban assigns faith to a 2d class status, below WalMart, pot stores, laundromats, alcohol stores, & other loopholes https://t.co/gCzB88KheF
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) April 15, 2020
Two weeks later, it appears Newsom has expanded his growing violation of civil rights by now blocking people from even demonstrating and protesting.
The only good news is that Attorney General Bill Barr has made it clear he’s been paying attention to what’s been happening and isn’t pleased by what he’s seen.
Attorney General Barr today issued a memo on balancing #PublicSafety with the preservation of #CivilRights. Read it at https://t.co/374qRe5ZGq
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) April 27, 2020
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