HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) – Some residents in Huntington Beach are joining protesters in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and other states in calling on officials to reopen for business.
The “March For Freedom” took place Friday afternoon near 126 Main Street, where supporters were urged to wear red, white and blue and “bring your flags, signs and voices.”
Roughly 100 people were on hand just after 1 p.m, some holding signs reading “Stop the shutdown” and “COVID-19 is a lie”.
Around 100 people have gathered in downtown Huntington Beach to say that they want the government to end the coronvirus shutdown immediately. Many here say it’s doing more harm than good to the country @KCBSKCALDesk @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/UkI0k8jmJ2
— Chris Ercoli (@CErcoliCBS2KCAL) April 17, 2020
One of those protesters, Paula Doyle, 62, of Costa Mesa, held a “Live Free or Die” sign and told reporters that the measures put into place in California were killing business.
“I just want to go back to normal,” she said. “I don’t think there’s a reason for this.”
No arrests were made during the rally, which lasted about two hours, according to Huntington Beach police Office Angela Bennett.
The rally didn’t appear to be as large as other protests in Michigan and other states, which drew thousands of protesters earlier this week who called upon their respective governors to end the stay-at-home order in those states.
The protest comes as Huntington Beach officials extended city closures to all metered parking along Pacific Coast Highway to discourage visitors after the warm weather drew people out to the beach Thursday in violation of the stay-at-home order.
Small business owners in the area have complained the closures have discouraged patrons and are adversely impacting their operations.
But some experts have warned that lifting stay-at-home orders too early could lead to an uptick in COVID-19 cases and flare-ups in areas where the outbreak has eased.