Residents in Orange County, California turned out by the hundreds to protest Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to close all beaches, in the latest outburst of frustration with Covid-19 lockdowns now entering week seven.

Newsom ordered a “hard close” of state and local beaches on Thursday, arguing that people from outside the area were coming to congregate there and posing a risk to public health. Huntington Beach, located south of Los Angeles and known as “Surf City,” said it would resist.

Before the city fathers could sue, however, local residents gathered on the beach to confront mounted and heavily armed police on Friday afternoon, shouting slogans against Newsom and demanding freedom.

Protesters shouted “No more Newsom” and “Freedom” at a demonstration in Huntington Beach today. Hundereds gathered to protest the stay-at-home order and closure of Orange County’s beaches, both of which were issued by California’s governor.

Mainstream media covering the protest were quick to note many were “without masks and defying… social distance guidelines”

NEW: Aerial footage shows hundreds gathered in Huntington Beach, California, to protest Governor Newsom’s stay-at-home orders and beach closures in Orange County, many without masks and defying COVID-19 social distance guidelines as they blocked traffic.

More video from the protest quickly began to appear on social media, quickly polarizing along party lines. While supporters of President Donald Trump tended to applaud the protesters – some of whom were filmed waving his campaign flags – Democrats were aghast that everyone at the protest will spread the virus and die.

Unrest is now spreading in liberal-leaning California as MASSIVE crowds gather in Huntington Beach to protest Gov. @GavinNewsom’s executive order shutting down

Huntington Beach rn… wtf

This is insane.People in Huntington Beach, California are risking their lives to protest beaches being closed.

“Imagine having the internet, streaming services, video games, and a whole virtual world at home. Then deciding to call it “tyranny” because you can’t go to the beach,” tweeted sports journalist Farbod Esnaashari, adding that there has been a spike in Covid-19 cases in Huntington Beach over the past two weeks already.

Imagine having the internet, streaming services, video games, and a whole virtual world at home. Then deciding to call it “tyranny” because you can’t go to the beachHuntington Beach already has 100% increase in COVID-19 cases over the past 2 weeks

According to the city, however, that increase appears to be due to new disclosures of numbers coming out of nursing homes. 

“Our experience locally had been that most people were being responsible and complying with social distancing requirements,” Huntington Beach officials said on Thursday, in response to Newsom’s order.

Though a national emergency has been declared regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, President Trump has chosen to let state governors exercise sweeping authority over how to handle their mitigation measures. The White House issued federal guidelines for “reopening America” on April 16, which envisioned a gradual easing of restrictions parallel to the decrease in hospitalizations.

Newsom is among the dozen or so governors – almost all Democrats – who have insisted on maintaining the strict measures first implemented in mid-March, saying that their decision to relax the regime would be guided by “science.” Some have even speculated the lockdowns might last until a vaccine is available – sometime in 2021 at best.

Some 30 million Americans have already lost their jobs as a result of the measures, however, and several states have seen protests against the ongoing shutdowns. Earlier this week, an angry crowd made its way inside the Michigan state capitol in Lansing, demanding an end to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian measures. Some of the protesters were armed, prompting Democrats to denounce them as “terrorists” and claim they were being intimidated.

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