Protesters gather in Paso Robles to call for government to reopen state

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Posted at 1:52 PM, May 01, 2020

Hundreds of people gathered at the Paso Robles Downtown City Park on Friday to protest the coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

Those in attendance included non-essential workers who said they want to be able to go back to work.

"We want to stand up for what's right and our freedom," said protester Jocelyn Fore.

Others said they felt their freedoms were being taken away.

"Being able to go into a store like a normal person, buying what I want like a normal person, being able to get my hair done, it's ridiculous," said protester Claudia Boller.

It was one of dozens of protests being held across the state on Friday and others being planned for this weekend.

An Arroyo Grande realtor is tired of showing houses virtually, so she plans to speak her mind at a protest planned for 11 a.m. Saturday in Santa Maria.

"They are breaking our constitutional rights right now and if you want to stay home, please do. I don't want to stay home, I want to sit in a restaurant, period," said Christine Miller, who plans to protest Saturday at the corner of Bradley and Betteravia roads in Santa Maria.

She said people's livelihoods and sanity are at stake.

"I feel terrible for anyone who has passed away from this, of course, or for any other reason, but that doesn't justify people having to lose their jobs and house over it," Miller said.

Gregg Hart, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Chair, said everyone has a right to protest, but he is urging people to social distance, saying in a statement to KSBY, "The last thing that we want to result from a protest is a new outbreak of COVID-19 that puts community members at risk."

Still, some don't plan on following CDC guidelines or recommendations.

A picture encouraging people to storm Pismo Beach was circulating on social media in the Central Valley.

The organizer declined to comment so it's unclear if it that protest is still happening.

Demonstrators also gathered at the State Capitol in Sacramento, City Hall in San Francisco, and in Huntington Beach to protest beach closures on Friday.

Protests were also held in other states across the country.