LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Controversial Christian musician Sean Feucht was holding several gatherings across the Los Angeles area on New Year's Eve. This comes after his supporters and protesters faced off in the downtown Los Angeles area of Skid Row Wednesday night -- even though the singer himself never showed up.
Feucht, a Northern California pastor and the leader of the "Let Us Worship" movement, has held other performances nationwide throughout the pandemic in a protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Some of Feucht's events feature maskless worshippers singing and dancing, leading to criticisms that he has organized "super spreader" events. Local homeless activists were afraid that such an event could infect the vulnerable homeless population which resides on Skid Row.
Wednesday night's event took place near the intersection of Fifth Street and Towne Avenue, but Feucht never showed for the performance. However, a few dozen of his supporters did come out, some in masks and some without. A worship band associated with the movement performed as well.
Homeless activists set up a vehicle blockade near the intersection that stretched for several blocks in an attempt to stop what was planned.
In one instance, homeless activists in the blockade yelled for a woman to wear a mask, and she refused, even tossing aside one that was handed to her.
"We made it clear, if they want to come to this community with masks on, we're okay," said Pastor Cue from the Church Without Walls, one of the leaders of the blockade.
As soon as a band from "Let Us Worship" started performing, the Skid Row activists showed up to drown them out.
"We're just coming, and we're just praising," Feucht supporter Hina Sheik said. "We're not doing anything that's illegal, we're not doing anything that's harming anyone."
Those performing did wear masks, but they weren't welcomed by the protesters.
"You can't come to our community with your colonizing religion, acting like you own the place, and putting people in jeopardy," Pastor Cue said.
Feucht held a Let Us Worship events at Echo Park Lake on Thursday morning, where a small group were also confronted by protesters.
He was also scheduled to hold a concert in a church parking lot in Valencia Thursday evening.
A Facebook event page Valencia event says it will take place from 9 p.m. to midnight at 28776 The Old Road. The page showed that 500 people had indicated they were "going" -- although it was unclear if they planned to physically be there or watch online and another 1200 interested in attending or watching the event.
In a post on social media, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Santa Clarita Valley's Sheriff's Station stated it "has been notified of a religious event taking place tonight with potential crowds. We are aware and will be monitoring the event."
Under the regional stay-at-home order in effect for Southern California, all public and private gatherings are banned, except for protests and religious services.
The California Poor People's Campaign wrote a letter calling for city and county officials to stop Feucht's events and enforce health orders against gatherings.
Feucht also has events scheduled in Orange County and San Diego, according to his website.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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