Those California party people on social media overnight were not rebellious teenagers pushing the late-night limitations of their parents and recording it for a post.
Instead, these were adult protestors, calling themselves “Curfew Breakers” as they demonstrated in opposition to California Gov. Gavin Newsom instituting a 10 p.m.–5 a.m. overnight curfew for counties with widespread coronavirus risk.
As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise across the U.S., the targeted California counties fell into a “purple tier” that comprises 41 counties and 94% of the state’s population.
The curfew bans “non-essential work, movement and gatherings.”
The demonstrators deemed it essential to not have a curfew. The social media videos and photos showed people partying in the streets with American flags and “Trump 2020” banners, honking car horns across the Golden State, and a San Clemente bonfire where revelers tossed face coverings into the flames and chanted, “Burn that mask!”
Law-enforcement agencies were prepared for the protests that started Saturday night because of social media proclamations, including one graphic that read, “Huntington Beach Curfew Breakers! If you are a free American and are more than non-essential, join us for a clear act of defiance against Newsom’s stay-at-home order.”
The Fresno County and Orange County sheriffs did not plan to enforce the state curfew.
“We’ve got a lot of things to do, including taking guns away from gang members, stopping narcotic trafficking and saving children from internet predators,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims at a press conference Thursday. “We’re not gonna make criminals of normally law-abiding citizens.”
So you’re saying we can still get a midnight In-N-Out burger in Fresno? Sometimes, that feels essential.