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San Diego Protesters, Angry About Coronavirus Restrictions, Rally Downtown

People hold signs and flags during a protest against measures aimed at slowin...

Photo by Gregory Bull / AP Photo

Above: People hold signs and flags during a protest against measures aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus Friday, May 1, 2020, in San Diego.

Hundreds of protesters crowded downtown San Diego sidewalks Friday to let politicians know they are tired of COVID-19 restrictions.

The protesters were asking to get their lives back.

The sidewalks in front of the Hall of Justice teemed with people. They carried signs, whistles, wore red, white and blue, and complained about a loss of freedom.

Spa owner Heather Molchanoff had a clear message for the state’s top politician.

“Gov. Newsom, don’t get a haircut by the end of this,” Molchanoff said. “If we’re not essential, you shouldn’t be getting a haircut. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s not fair and it’s not right.”

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Reported by Erik Anderson , Video by Matthew Bowler

Local radio host Bob Siegel rallied the protesters by giving an impassioned speech over a bullhorn. Even with a bullhorn, it was hard to hear him because many people were blaring their horns as they drove by.

The government, according to Siegel, has tightened the screws on people’s lives.

“It started out with, "If you shake hands with people wash your hands,'” Siegel said. “Then, it turned into the elbow bump. Then it turned into 6 feet apart. Then a mask. Then 6 feet apart even if you have a mask. That kind of thing.”

The “We Have Rights” protesters worked with San Diego Police to make sure the event happened without problems and there were plenty of police officer’s watching the protest.

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But police did not arrest or ticket people who were clearly violating social distancing rules.

Friday was also the day the county debuted its new policy requiring people in public to wear masks if they are near others. About a third of the protesters wore no masks.

“We have to honor the First Amendment and we’re trying to balance all that with the current health codes, the county health codes that we’re enforcing in the county,” said San Diego Police Capt. Dan Grubbs.

The protest happened on the same day San Diego County public health officials reported 147 new cases of the disease and 10 more deaths.

The virus has killed 134 people in the county and infected 3,711.

Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.

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Erik Anderson
Environment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI focus on the environment and all the implications that a changing or challenging environment has for life in Southern California. That includes climate change, endangered species, habitat, urbanization, pollution and many other topics.

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