Today’s update features lockdown protests in my home state of California.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason a “quarantine” is 40 days long is that is the duration people are willing to be isolated. Many states’ governors, recognizing the success of Sweden’s approach and evaluating the status of coronavirus infections in their states, are slowly reopening.

However, the California governor has been less than candid in sharing a timeline of reopening with Californians. And, in an obvious instance of political pique, he shut down Orange County beaches because visitors supposedly failed to follow social distancing guidelines.

Huntington Beach is one of those Orange County locations. On Friday thousands flocked to those shores to protest the needless closures.

Large crowds opposing the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home mandate took to the streets of downtown Huntington Beach on Friday, a day after the governor closed Orange County beaches and drew frustration and criticism from some residents and city leaders.

Protesters gathered near the Huntington Beach pier shortly before noon, with the crowd eventually swelling to some 2,500-3,000 people, according to Huntington Beach police Chief Robert Handy. The tightly packed crowd, with most people not wearing protective masks, repeatedly chanted “U.S.A.” as they waited for the demonstration to begin.

The protesters held signs proclaiming, “All jobs are essential,” “My freedom is essential,” and “Newsom is not essential,” as well as “Open our businesses, stand up for our rights as Americans” and “The shutdown is killing us, open our state now.”

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, about 1,000 protesters demonstrated in front of the Capitol. Several demonstrators were detained.

The protesters are part of an effort called “Re-Open California” and are demanding Gov. Gavin Newsom to lift the statewide stay-at-home order.

“Reach out to the government and make their concerns, worries, fears, anger, frustration known,” said Erik Leisten from Gold River. “Exercise their freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble and let him know that he’s destroying the state economically — but more importantly our freedoms.”

More than 1,000 people gathered at the Capitol grounds around noon, while other protesters stayed in their vehicles and drove around the property.

“In those areas where there is a low virus rate, let’s open up the doors for the businesses,” demonstrator Michelle said. “Owners of small businesses that are going through so many personal hardships who have invested their whole life savings. They could lose their home. They could lose everything.”

…“I have a concern with it (COVID-19). I don’t want to push it off as if it’s nothing,” said demonstrator Lisa Michael, who traveled from Fresno. “I think it’s been overblown, according to the numbers and the data that I’m seeing coming out of Italy and out of America.”

LiveCopter 3 video also showed at least four people being taken into custody.

I bet you thought we Californians didn’t have it in us!

Of course, many of us have the time: 20% of the state’s workforce has applied for unemployment.

Judge denies CA beach cities’ request to block state order closing local beaches

An Orange County Superior Court judge denied a request to temporarily nullify the order closing Orange County beaches.

The fight, however, is not over.

“It’s a difficult task. [Temporary restraining orders] are hard to get but it is the first step in the process,” Huntington Beach City Atty. Michael Gates said after Friday’s hearing.

“We are going to have a full-throated opportunity” to make a case for an injunction at the next scheduled hearing on May 11, Gates said.

The hearing followed a lawsuit filed by Huntington Beach and Dana Point along with various individual private plaintiffs that represent business with interests in coast cities.

“The Governor is acting without constitutional or statutory authority and is infringing on the cities’ right to control their own beaches,” said a court document filed in Superior Court Friday.”Preserving the status quo is warranted.”

Protesters Swarm Michigan Capitol Amid Showdown Over Governor’s Emergency Powers

Michiganders are also protesting their governor.

Hundreds of protesters — some of them armed with rifles — massed outside Michigan’s Capitol building Thursday to denounce the state’s stay-at-home orders. At the same time, lawmakers and the state’s governor faced off in a battle over the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the second time in roughly two weeks, protesters defied social distancing guidelines and took to the Capitol lawn over emergency declarations that have closed down many of the state’s nonessential businesses and largely confined Michigan residents to their homes.

Many of the demonstrators carried signs reading “Free Michigan” as they called out Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who extended the emergency order through May 15.

New York’s anti-lockdown protests fizzle with just dozens showing up

Meanwhile, protests on the East Coast are a little less dramatic.

Promised anti-lockdown protests at City Hall and the state Capitol in Albany fizzled Friday, attracting sparse crowds amid rainy conditions in the Big Apple and upstate.

Roughly 100 demonstrators gathered in the drizzle near the east steps of the Capitol and then marched to the governor’s mansion a few blocks away to protest the stay-in-place orders that city and state officials say are essential to slowing the spread of coronavirus.

“I’m not a scientist, I can’t really say I know what the data is, I try to steer away from that, but all I know is the Constitution can’t be violated,” one of the protest’s organizers, Cara Castronuova, told The Post by phone.

“To take away our rights and now they know it’s so easy, look at how easy it was, they just used fear and propaganda, and I’m not saying there’s not a virus, but that doesn’t ever justify taking away civil liberties, it’s our First Amendment rights,” added the 40-year-old fitness trainer and boxing announcer from Long Island.

 

 
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