State Watch — Verizon
Protests banned at capitol, on state property in California
California’s Highway Patrol (CHP) said it will no longer grant permits for protests on state property, including the state Capitol, following demonstrations Monday against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) stay-at-home order.
Officer John Ortega told The Hill Wednesday that effective immediately any permit request at state facilities, including the state Capitol, will be denied until public health officials determine it is safe to gather again.
The decision is in the interest of public safety and the health of Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
The ban was first reported by The Sacramento Bee.
CHP said protesters on Monday did not comply with the state’s public health guidance put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Permits are issued to provide safe environments for demonstrators to express their views. In this case, the permit for the convoy was issued with the understanding that the protest would be conducted in a manner consistent with the state’s public health guidance,” CHP said in a statement to the newspaper.
“That is not what occurred, and CHP will take this experience into account when considering permits for this or any other group,” CHP added.
The Hill reached out to CHP for comment.
Hundreds of people gathered Monday at the California state Capitol to protest stay-at-home orders put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The demonstrations follow several other protests across the country calling on state governments to open the economy and let citizens get back to work.
Aerial video footage of the protests reported by KRON 4 shows crowds forming to demonstrate, with many people not wearing masks or maintaining the recommended 6-foot distance between each other.
Last week Newsom said he encourages residents to “practice your free speech” as long as they maintain social distancing guidelines while doing so.
California has a stay-at-home order in place, shuttering nonessential businesses and calling on residents to wear face coverings when outside and maintain a distance of 6 feet when in public.
California’s health department reported 33,261 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,268 deaths.