After hundreds of people gathered at California's state capitol in Sacramento to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home orders on Monday, the California Highway Patrol announced that they would no longer issue permits for gatherings on state property.
“Permits are issued to provide safe environments for demonstrators to express their views,” the CHP said in a statement. “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.
“That is not what occurred, and CHP will take this experience into account when considering permits for this or any other group,” the statement said,
Gov. Newsom issued a stay-at-home order for Californians on March 19 to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. While the order has no expiration date, the governor said Tuesday that the orders will be loosened at a later date based on data.
Protesters gathered on Monday and drove around the Capitol, honking their horns, while others stood shoulder-to-shoulder in protest of the shutdown in front of the Capitol in defiance of social-distancing guidelines. The protests were part of a nationwide movement known as "Operation Gridlock."
Future protests are being planned, however, the CHP said they will not occur on state property.
"In the interest of public safety and the health of all Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, effective immediately the California Highway Patrol will deny any permit requests for events or activities at all state facilities, to include the State Capitol, until public health officials have determined it is safe to gather again,” the CHP said.
So far, California has confirmed at least 37,710 cases of COVID-19, with the death toll reaching 1,440 as of Thursday morning.
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