SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Authorities arrested 32 protesters who defied California's stay-at-home order and instead rallied on the capitol steps to reopen the state.
There were more than 1,000 people at the “Re-Open California” rally calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to lift the state’s stay-at-home mandate, KCRA reported.
Organizers had planned for supporters to obey social distance measures and stay in their cars while circling the capitol, however video showed protestors holding signs while gathered on the grounds, KCRA reported.
The California Highway Patrol said the event was unpermitted, the Los Angeles Times reported. The agency banned large in-person gatherings at the capitol last week.
The protest occurred during Newsom’s Friday afternoon briefing.
"All I ask for is this, and this is take care of yourself. Wear a face covering. Do justice to physical distancing. You don’t want to contract this disease,” Newsom said. “This disease doesn’t know if you’re a protester, Democrat, Republican, support the election of one candidate or the ouster of another. It just knows one thing, and that is its host. And it has a remarkable ability: people with asymptomatic conditions to transfer to someone else.”
Another group held a similar protest April 21.
There are 52,632 confirmed cases and 2,171 deaths from the coronavirus in California, according to the New York Times.