Huntington Beach protest targets California’s coronavirus curfew
Videos and photos posted on social media late Saturday in California showed a strong turnout for what was billed as a “Curfew Breakers” protest against Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s latest coronavirus mitigation orders.
Images showed demonstrators — many with American flags or Trump 2020 flags — reveling in what seemed like a New Year’s Eve-style celebration. Passing vehicles could be heard honking in support.
Huntington Beach,California is still supporting our President Donald Trump 🇺🇸💪 pic.twitter.com/umJOwEmX7e
— Jolanta Jemiola-YOLA (@JJemiola) November 22, 2020
In one video, a recording of singer Lee Greenwood’s patriotic song, “God Bless the USA,” could be heard playing.
At a simultaneous rally in San Clemente, Calif., demonstrators were seen gathered around a fire, with members of the crowd tossing protective face coverings into the flames.
“Burn that mask! Burn that mask!” crowd members were heard shouting.
The protests came as California — like other states across the U.S. — grappled with a rise in confirmed cases of the coronavirus, as well as rises in hospitalizations and deaths.
As of early Sunday ET, California had seen more than 1.1 million confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began, with more than 18,000 deaths. More than 21 million people had been tested in California, with a positivity rate of 4.95%, according to Johns Hopkins University.
California’s death total ranked third in the nation, behind more than 34,000 deaths in New York state and nearly 21,000 deaths in Texas.
Earlier in the week, law enforcement agencies in Orange County said they were preparing for protests against the state’s coronavirus-related curfew.
The protests were expected to begin at 10:01 p.m. PT (1:01 a.m. ET), according to Bill Melugin from FOX 11 of Los Angeles.
An announcement about the planned protest appeared on social media during the week but it was unclear who posted it.
“Huntington Beach Curfew Breakers!” the flyer read. “If you are a free American and are more than non-essential, join us for a clear act of defiance against Newsom’s stay-at-home order. Come to Huntington Beach Pier, 10:01 p.m. Saturday Nov. 21.”
On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new overnight curfew for the state that was to begin Saturday night. The Democrat called for all “non-essential work, movement and gatherings” in the state’s “purple-tier” coronavirus communities to be halted between 10 a.m. and 5 a.m.
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