May Day protests call for reopening states, businesses and beaches amid pandemic

CALIFORNIA — May Day rallies are typically held to fight for workers’ rights across America and other parts of the world. 

But this year, on May 1 and over the weekend, protesters — mostly President Donald Trump supporters — took to the streets to call for the reopening of states amid the pandemic.

In Orange County, Calif., they were protesting Governor Gavin Newsom ordering beaches to be closed in the area, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Several Orange County cities even filed lawsuits against the order. 

For the past weeks, Fil-Am Trump campaign head Rachel Gunther has been calling for beaches and businesses to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gunther had led and participated in a series of convoys, driving to Long Beach and Los Angeles city halls, with herself and most of her contingents staying in the cars.

“They’re just doing it saying, hey I want to go back to work. I’ll do what’s necessary to protect myself, I’ll wear a mask if I have to, I’ll social distance if I have to. But don’t keep me from working and providing for my family.”

It was a different tone for Filipino American organizations who would traditionally gather on May Day, opting for virtual rallies this year.

“Long live international solidarity, capitalism is the virus, socialism is the cure,” said KM Mendiola.

Groups like Anakbayan blamed President Trump, and capitalism for the ongoing pandemic.

“The U.S. government has been responsible for the lives that have been lost, the lives that are currently being lost because of the lack of funding for personal protective equipment, the lack of mass testing, these are basic necessities in the richest country in the world. And how is it possible that we have the highest death rate, and that’s because of capitalism,” said Nikole Cababa.

The safe at home order in Los Angeles County lasts until May 15.

As for now, while local agencies try to set up financial support for impacted residents, local elected officials have also said that it will soon begin planning on how to safely reopen the region.

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