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Paso Robles pandemic protest

Paso Robles Downtown City Park closed playground. Photo by Hannah Halferty

A Stand for Freedom rally in Paso Robles protesting the shelter-at-home order took place on May 1.

The event was scheduled to be at the Paso Robles Downtown City Park at 12 p.m. Paso Robles local, Amanda Hawkins, is the organizer for this rally and has started the event from her personal Facebook page. 

“This is a peaceful civil disobedience push-back against the government,” Hawkins wrote in her Facebook post. 

The rally is being hosted because some locals feel as if their first amendment rights have been violated by the shelter-at-home order placed on San Luis Obispo County during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“No compelling scientific data has been released to justify the lockdown of our state! We will stand for our constitutional rights, our civil liberties; our God-given rights,” Hawkins wrote in her post. 

The event is expected to have featured speakers and a patriotic horse parade, according to the Paso Robles Daily News. 

Hawkins is encouraging others to wear patriotic colors or to bring flags. Others on the Facebook thread recommended bringing more intimidating supplies to the peaceful protest.  

“I think if people have plate carriers or vests they should wear them for the sole purpose that a group of people wearing them turns heads,” Tyler Striegel commented on the rally’s page. 

Some community members of Paso Robles seem to embrace this protest, with 110 people confirming they will be going and 177 interested as of April 30. 

The County of San Luis Obispo announced that there were multiple new cases of COVID-19 this week and is continuing to implement the shelter at home ordinance until May 16, 2020. 

The County of San Luis Obispo will change its current restrictions based on Gov. Gavin Newsom returning local control to counties. 

Newsom has not lifted the executive order or affirmed that San Luis Obispo County is able to commence reopening procedures.