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There are plenty who may have doubted Californians had it in them, but residents in the state are pushing back on the heavy-handed tactics of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s doubling down on tough enforcement of his stay-at-home order.
With Southern California residents taking to the beaches last week amid a heatwave, in defiance of restrictions in place due to COVID-19, a virus that originated in Wuhan, China, Newsom issued orders Thursday calling for a “hard close” of all state and local beaches, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The order has been met with defiance — albeit, peaceful defiance.
Huntington Beach, which is located in Orange County, has been a focal point of the protests, but demonstrators also turned out at the state Capitol, in Sacramento, and were met with force.
— RACHAEL RICHARDSON (@rachaelrich) May 1, 2020
California Highway Patrol officers arrested 32 people on Friday — last month, CHP banned protests at the Capitol after a protest against Newsom’s stay-at-home order, citing the failure to adhere to social distancing and other guidelines in place.
Those arrested were cited for “failing to comply with the lawful order to disperse” and for ignoring a health officer, the Sacramento Bee reported. A CHP spokeswoman said they were released after the misdemeanor charges were applied.
The sentiment of the show of force is seen in the tweet below — for the record, while there was a Democratic governor (Jerry Brown), Newsom was not in office during the 2017 Berkeley riots.
The point being, in the eyes of the social media user, that while California appears to have tolerance for the violent domestic terrorist group Antifa, they’ve gone “full war mode” on those peacefully protesting for their rights.
Gavin Newsom never did this when ANTIFA rioted or during any of the Berkley riots.
Peaceful Americans show up touting the constitution and he goes full war mode on us. 🤔 https://t.co/ZIYO2HYsLS
— Sean Shannon Collier (@ReillocNaes) May 3, 2020
There was also a huge protest in Huntington Beach on Friday, as seen here:
This protest is as American as apple pie!
Families, small business owners, all coming together in a peaceful and patriotic protest.
— The Ann and Phelim Scoop 🎙 (@AP_Scoop) May 1, 2020
“I served in the army and fought tyrants and dictators overseas and this has gone too far,” one protester told the Los Angeles Times. “I didn’t do that to come back here and live under a tyrant in my own country.”
In defiance of Gov. Newsom, city council members in Huntington Beach and Dana Point voted Thursday to pursue legal action against the beach closures, according to The Hill.
“The world is coming out of this, and the governor is choosing Orange County to clamp down even harder,” Huntington Beach City Council member Mike Posey told the online news source.
The Huntington Beach City Council voted 5-2 to “to direct the City Attorney to pursue any and all legal actions” to challenge Newsom’s beach closure directive, and the Dana Point City Council voted 4-1 to seek a temporary restraining order blocking the order.
The governor tried to appease protesters somewhat, announcing on Friday that state officials are “very, very close to making some announcements,” saying that he’s “days, not weeks” away from making significant changes to shelter-in-place orders, according to CNBC.
#video Protesters refusing to disperse at California Capitol Building, Sacramento; heavy police presence. Protesters demand end to stay-at-home order. Photographer: Steven Styles / Belator Media #Sacramento #Protest #California #news #HappeningNow @Lookner @reuterspictures pic.twitter.com/S1l0IRH1JU
— Steven S. (@StevenStyles101) May 1, 2020
“I feel some confidence over the course of the next week we’re going to be able to make some announcements that will give people some more confidence in the ability for California to get back on its economic feet,” Newsom said.
The governor added, “If we can hold the line and continue to do good work and just avoid the temptation to get back and congregate with people in ways where we can see an increase in the spread, we’ll get there much sooner than many people perhaps think.”
California, a state of 40 million, has had a little more than 52,000 COVID-19 cases, with 2,172 deaths.
Here’s a sampling of other tweets reflecting the protests taking place in the state:
— Mark Privalov (@MarkPrivalov) May 1, 2020
Currently watching a live feed of the protest going on in Sacramento at the Capitol… That's… a lot of people close together. Not sure about the people yelling at cops tho…. https://t.co/CtFePPv5CK pic.twitter.com/MniwulJNvY
— Eric Shackelford (@ABC7Shack) May 1, 2020
— Jeremiah 😷 (@JerryPistons15) May 1, 2020
Oh, look at what KCRA just caught flying over the Capitol in Sacramento during the protest… Quite the photoshop of Gov. Gavin Newsom pic.twitter.com/NebacPsZ6g
— Eric Shackelford (@ABC7Shack) May 1, 2020
Yet, there are still those who don’t quite grasp the concept of freedom, which is the bedrock of American society.
More from the open up protest at the #sacramento capital today. It’s all so dystopian I don’t know what to really say about it. Thousands of people are dying everyday from Covid19 and this is the response. This is America. pic.twitter.com/iBlrv4FYmJ
— Jake Westly Anderson (@jwestlyanderson) May 1, 2020
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