San Clemente residents protest COVID-19 stay-at-home order

(Jeff Ashley/Courtesy)

Hundreds of San Clemente residents marched down Del Mar St. and the San Clemente Pier in protest of the stay-at-home quarantine order the past couple Sundays due to the COVID-19 shut down. 

Protesters held signs that called upon government officials to lift the stay-at-home order while also waving American flags and chanting. A few of the signs accused the media as being the virus, as well as stating that every job and worker is essential. 

Alan Hostetter is the leader of the protest, in which he held another protest on Easter Sunday, but this last Sunday had drawn a much bigger crowd. These organizers are the same protest leaders that held the assembly in Huntington Beach this Friday. 

The protest on April 19, was the largest protest so far out of the assemblies of San Clemente residents against the COVID-19 shut down. 

“I heard them on the loudspeakers 100 feet from my house and I had to check it out,” said Shane Barreira, San Clemente local. “They talked about the constitution and how this is screwing our rights, the science of the virus, and how the statistics being projected are 50 times the amount of the actual percentages.” 

(Jeff Ashley/Courtesy)

Protesters were not being quiet about the way they felt towards the state-wide shut-down. 

Although the protest had hundreds of San Clemente supporters, not all San Clemente residents were 100% influenced by the movement. 

“The quarantine is not fun and yes the economy is taking a hit, but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Riley Brail, San Clemente resident.

With the conflicting sides, it seems like San Clemente is divided on the subject of quarantine.

“I feel that it is good that they are exercising their right to free speech and peaceful protest. However, while protesting one thing, they invited the thing that caused all this into their protest by not social distancing. There are good things and there are stupid things. This is both,” said Josh Tabb, San Clemente resident.

San Clemente has seen a total of 43 infections of the COVID-19 outbreak out of the population of 64,857 residents. Orange County has a total of 2,151 confirmed cases of the virus, with the population of 3.176 million.