The Real Resistance Rises

As California’s reactionary Governor cracks down.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters he was “weeks not months” from any “modification” of his lockdown order, and the California Highway Patrol was barring any protest at the state Capitol. On Thursday, Newsom shut down state beaches and parks, and on Friday May 1, Californians hit the streets by the thousands, blocking a mile of Pacific Coast Highway down in Orange County, and as Fox News reported, staging protests in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In the state capital of Sacramento, as Katy Grimes of the California Globe noted, “Thousands of flag-waving Californians descended upon the State Capitol Friday for a protest of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home lockdown order, which has caused millions of residents to lose their jobs and businesses.”

The protesters, organized by “Re-Open California,” were not pleading for handouts from the government. For the most part, they were working people who wanted to get their jobs and lives back.

“Reach out to the government and make their concerns, worries, fears, anger, frustration known,” protester Erik Leisten told KCRA News. “Exercise their freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble and let him know that he’s destroying the state economically, but more importantly our freedoms.”

California Highway Patrol officers in full riot gear formed a line and pushed people off the Capitol grounds. Police arrested 32 demonstrators for disobeying a lawful order, demonstrating without a permit and resisting or delaying a police officer. As Katy Grimes recalled,  “police were far less aggressive and few arrests were ever made at Black Lives Matter rallies, which were destructive and violent.”

After the police shooting of Stephon Clark in March of 2018, Black Lives Matter disrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting, blocked fans from entering a Sacramento Kings game, and shut down traffic in both directions on Interstate 5, California’s major north-south artery. A racist mob essentially took over downtown Sacramento, terrorized innocent citizens, and violated laws, but as KCRA reported, police made “no arrests,” during the protest.

By contrast when embattled workers show up at the state Capitol on May 1 to protest their losses, police make 32 arrests. With Gavin Newsom in office, that should come as no surprise.

Last June, Newsom told Politico that Republicans were destined for the “waste bin of history.”  So Gov. Newsom is not likely to find their job losses, bankruptcies, foreclosures and such a matter of great concern. Indeed, the progressive governor, a former mayor of San Francisco, could see the current miserable conditions as a fulfillment of his prophecy.

During the 2018 campaign Newsom failed to tour the far reaches of the state, and shortly after election as governor he travelled to El Salvador. The governor supports sanctuary laws that protect Central American and Mexican illegals, even the violent criminals among them. When false-documented illegals get driver’s licenses, the state DMV automatically registers them to vote. This imported electorate gives Newsom more reason to disregard legitimate citizens who vote in ways Democrats might not like. 

Gov. Newsom vetoes more than $2 million for a new courthouse in El Dorado County, yet he budgets nearly $100 million to pay the health care of foreign nationals illegally present in the United States, with zero compensation from the illegals’ own countries. During the pandemic, Newsom wants $125 million for illegals’ health care, with $75 million coming from American taxpayers.  The governor is also active on the job front, but not for American workers.

With the state economy in freefall, Newsom struck a $1 billion deal with the Chinese company BYD for more than 200 million masks, in a state of 40 million people. Newsom hid details of the deal, even from fellow Democrats who gave him extraordinary powers during the pandemic. Long before the coronavirus showed up from China, state Democrats were making it hard for California workers to earn a living.

Last year, Gov. Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 5, a virtual declaration of war against independent contractors, including those in the medical field. AB-5 is the first measure openly to oppose the professions Californians choose for themselves, the first measure to deny Californians their rights of free association, and the first measure to limit workers’ ability to earn a living. Newsom has refused to suspend the measure, even as the pandemic punishes the workers.

Gov. Newsom openly violates federal immigration law but puts the state Capitol off-limits to American workers who only want their jobs and lives back. When more than 1,000 peaceful protesters show up, his black-clad staatspolizei arrest them by the dozens. Even so, they will keep taking it to the streets, all across the Golden State.

Californians boast a long tradition of public protest, with a sound track laid down in the sixties. They have been crushed by the tumbling tide, as the Chambers Brothers put it, so the time has come today, and “there are things to realize.” Once again, as the Buffalo Springfield said, there’s a thousand people in the street, singing songs and carrying signs.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore