Anti-Stay-At-Home Protests Will Continue This Weekend In San Diego

April 27, 2020

Following two weekends of anti-stay-at-home protests around San Diego County, more demonstrations are scheduled to take place this coming weekend.

On Saturday, April 18, at almost exactly one month into a statewide stay-home order, an estimated 400 protesters converged on the streets of downtown San Diego and demanded that California reopen. The "Freedom Rally", as it was called, mirrored several similar protests staged across the country and participants could be seen carrying American flags with many wearing "Trump 2020" apparel. Additional protesters chose to stay in their vehicles and drove by honking and waving flags and signs from windows. The alleged organizer of the rally, 27-year-old Naomi Soria (who goes by Naomi Israel on Facebook) is now reportedly facing a $1,000 fine and possible jail time. Soria also organized a protest attended by hundreds in San Diego's Pacific Beach on Sunday, April 26, which may result in a second criminal case against her. Similar demonstrations took place in Encinitas on both weekends.

"This is going to be both a gridlock (driving protest) and a walking protest," said event host Mike Ruthenberg about the May 1 protest on the Facebook Page for ReOpen San Diego. "Please make signs. Respect social distancing for those who want to and wear a mask to prevent others from getting your infection. I have been so impressed by the past two protests I participated in and expect another one. The Police have been great at Pacific Beach and on Broadway. Say 'Hi' and thank you for serving."

The San Diego protest on May 1 is part of several organized throughout the state under the name "March To ReOpen California," with the stated goal of causing Governor Gavin Newsom to immediately reopen California's economy. This week, Newsom laid out his 4-phase plan to reopen the state and explained that the next steps in reopening (Phase 2) would take place "in weeks, not months." The Phase 2 modifications of the statewide stay-at-home order include gradually opening some lower risk workplaces with adaptations in place to ensure social distancing. There is also a protest called "All Businesses Are Essential" scheduled for Encinitas on Sunday, May 3, from 10am-2pm, organized by Crista Anne Curtis and Free Encinitas