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100-Plus Protesters Rally In Laguna Beach To Open Beaches And Businesses

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- More than 100 demonstrators took to the streets in Laguna Beach on Saturday to protest Stay-At-Home orders.

"It would be nice to start the process of opening up the beaches for exercise," said Brendan Ward.

Many of them did not wear masks, few practiced physical distancing and plenty doubt numbers from federal, state and local health departments.

One family traveled from Torrance with their 12-year-old daughter who also joined in on protests for her own reason.

"My birthday was yesterday and I couldn't have any parties," said Sophia Waller.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who wanted to prevent a repeat of packed beaches in Orange County last weekend, says restrictions will be eased in a matter of days but we still need to deal with the latest numbers.

"We're now over 2,000 people lost their lives. Don't think virus has disappeared," Newsom said.

Orange County numbers have been much lower than places like L.A. or Riverside Counties.

"With regard to singling out Orange County in particular, it was vindictive," said Garfield Logan of Laguna Beach.

Despite the backlash from some residents, a recent poll found that about 75% of Californians are in favor of the government mandates so far.

For the ones that oppose the shutdown of some operations, demonstrators are calling for businesses to reopen and beaches to be made available to locals.

"You show your ID so they can check your zip code," Brendan Ward said of a possible solution. "If you live in the zip code, you can visit the beach."

Police said there were no counter-protests in Laguna Beach on Saturday and the demonstration was peaceful with no arrests or citations.


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