Echo Park -- As many as 100 protestors opposed to Stay-at-Home orders staged a noisy demonstration this afternoon outside the home of LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
After marching from Echo Park Lake, the crowd filled a narrow hillside street, waving American and Trump flags while chanting "Open LA" and "No Science, No Data, No Shut Downs." Some protestors yelled epithets in the direction of Ferrer's home while others said "No more communism, no more masks."
"We need to go back to the gyms," said one man. "We need to go back to the movies. We need to go back to normal."
The protest was staged after skyrocketing COVID-19 cases forced officials to suspend outdoor dining at LA restaurants, a decision that met with intense criticism and warnings of layoffs and businesses closures. On Monday, an updated Stay-At-Home order will be go into effect, placing further restrictions on businesses, gatherings and other activities.
Neighbors began getting into arguments with protesters. Echo Park is not exactly a bastion of conservativism. pic.twitter.com/IYPr00dAoB— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) November 30, 2020
LAPD patrol cars blocked a shared driveway leading to Ferrer's home and numerous officers were stationed along the street. It did not appear that Ferrer was home during the protest.
The demonstration remained peaceful for the most part. But there were a few heated exchanges and debates between protestors and some residents and counter protestors. "Fascists. Nazis. Go away!," yelled one man at the crowd. A woman on her porch told protestors,"You guys are in the wrong place."
The approximately two-hour long demonstration ended at about 5 pm.
Update on Nov. 30: Ferrer, in her Monday COVID-19 update, said she respected the rights of people who gathered outside her home but said it doesn't change the need to control the spread of the virus.
"My hope is ... it's a relatively small group of folks and that it doesn't in any way detract from what I think is the most important task in front of us right now," Ferrer said. "Yes, we're asking a lot, and yes people are going to have to make more sacrifices. But if we don't get this virus under control it will cost all of us dearly."
There are about 15 people here in Echo Park protesting new COVID-19 restrictions outside the house of Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the head of the L.A. County health department. They’re chanting: “No science. No data. No shutdown.” pic.twitter.com/2ncgsKe0vk— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) November 30, 2020