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Crowds of Californians take to the streets to protest the closure of Orange County beaches.

Reuters

Hundreds of Californians have protested against the state’s coronavirus lockdown.

On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close.

He made the decision following thousands of people visiting the Huntington Beach Pier the previous weekend, ignoring public health guidelines.

In response, crowds took to the streets by Huntington Beach on Friday with placards demanding the beaches reopen and restrictions are lifted.

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Thousands of protestors swarmed the Huntington Beach, world-renown for its surfing, to protest California’s stay-at-home orders.

On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom made the decision to close all beaches in Orange County after the previous weekend had seen hordes of people ignoring public health guidelines by sunbathing and surfing.

The following day, on May 1, crowds of Californians descended on Huntington Beach Pier with placards and American flags to demand the beaches reopen.

As the above video and the following photos show, protesters did not follow social distancing guidelines.

“I served in the army and fought tyrants and dictators overseas and this has gone too far,” Andrew Norman told the LA Times.

“I didn’t do that to come back here and live under a tyrant in my own country.”

It was one of a series of rallies across the state opposing the continued strict lockdown imposed in response to California’s coronavirus crisis.

There were about a dozen organized rallies in cities including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, according to AP.

Police across the state appear to have taken a softly-softly approach with protestors, despite the fact they were violating stay-at-home requirements and not following physical distancing recommendations, reported the news agency.

Pockets of defiance have become to emerge across California. A country in the north of the state, Modoc County, home to about 9,000 people,  has said it is reopening. Meanwhile, individual restaurants and hairstylists have also decided to open their doors again in rural and urban areas.

Story continues

More than 2,000 people have died in California of the coronavirus, the US’s most populous state.

Most people who joined the protest did not wear facemasks nor follow social distancing guidelines.

Crowds of Californians take to the streets to protest the closure of Orange County beaches.

Reuters

The crowd was significantly larger than the number that had gathered at the same spot two weeks earlier, according to the LA Times.

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Reuters

Many people had brought flags and were dressed to match.

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Reuters

And there were also plenty of placards with messages for the authorities.

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“This is not Nazi Germany,” one woman had written.

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Reuters

Huntington Beach is a surf hotspot, and locals aren’t happy about being banned from the waves.

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Reuters

However, the beaches have signs pointing out that they’re closed.

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Police were also on hand to monitor the protest.

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Reuters

As well as calling for the reopening of the beaches, some people demanded further lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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Reuters

“Let us work,” one man had written on his sign.

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“Let me open my salon,” added a women wearing dungarees featuring the US flag.

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Reuters

Some people joined the protest from their cars.

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Reuters

In his Friday news conference, Newsom said that the “only thing that is assured to advance the spread of the virus is thousands of people congregating together, not practicing social distancing or physical distancing.”

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Reuters

Source: LA Times

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