Today, Wednesday, April 22nd, the California Highway Patrol temporarily banned rallies at the state Capitol and other state facilities because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to KRON4, “The change in policy came after hundreds of protesters gathered on the Capitol grounds in Sacramento on Monday, many without wearing masks or following recommendations to remain more than six feet apart to slow the spread of the coronavirus.” The article continued, “The same group had planned additional rallies in coming days against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders that people remain at home except for essential activities. Additional similar rallies have been happening across California and the nation, with more planned.”
In a statement from the CHP, they explained “In the interest of public safety and the health of all Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, effective immediately the California Highway Patrol will deny any permit requests for events or activities at all state facilities, to include the State Capitol, until public health officials have determined it is safe to gather again,”
The California Highway Patrol said it was caught off guard when protesters blatantly ignored public safety recommendations.
The statement said the event permit, “Was issued with the understanding that the protest would be conducted in a manner consistent with the state’s public health guidance. That is not what occurred, and CHP will take this experience into account when considering permits for this or any other group.”
The group, Freedom Angels organized the protest which included 100 vehicles and 200 protestors. According to their Facebook page, the group describes themselves as “Patriot Mothers who won’t stand down. Our arms don’t get tired they carry babies. Hear our cry of distress: #FreedomForAll #StayHuman” and believes, “‘The duty of a true patriot is to protect his country from its government’ -Thomas Paine.”
The coronavirus, although only causing mild symptoms for some, is life threatening for others and therefore needs to be taken seriously. The CHP’s new policy is forcing people to take it seriously whether they believe in its severity or not.