Escondido, CA
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Residents “Rally to Reopen” for 5th straight week in Escondido


Although many demonstrators were there to bring back Cruisin’ Grand, others had different points to make. Photo by Johnathan Day.

Demonstrators gathered once again in Downtown Escondido to rally against sustained shutdown orders from the Governor’s office, even after Governor Newsom approved San Diego County two days prior to advance further into Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which allows for in-restaurant dining and in-store retail shopping, with certain modifications. 

Convening for the 5th straight Friday, several residents of Escondido stood at the corner of Grand and Broadway holding signs, waving flags and cheering as cars honked in support. When asked why the group continues to amass each week, one demonstrator said “For freedom. It’s that simple.” Another added, “They want to divide the nation with this pandemic, to compromise the Bill of Rights. The Governor is trying to take our powers away; we want to take California back.”

Many of those gathered are a part of the Cruisin’ Grand group who meet downtown every Friday night from early spring through summer to showcase classic cars and hot rods in what is now the “largest weekly Car Cruise west of the Mississippi River.. Scheduled to have begun in April, “Cruisin’” has been suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, although the group hopes to restart the events by mid-June. 

This hasn’t stopped many of its members from holding their own unofficial events, however, on what they now call “Friendly Fridays.” “Our goal is to support downtown businesses in Escondido,” said one organizer. “They’ve been hit hard by this crisis and rules imposed because of it, many of them, we believe, created based on wrong modeling and projections. Healthy people aren’t getting sick, at least in large numbers. We’re tired of it and people are tired of not being able to go back to work. Life has to go on. People are hurting.” 

Added another, “Some of these rules are so ridiculous. We get fined for watching a sunset from our own vehicles. We can surf in Encinitas but can’t a mile away in Cardiff. In Florida, the county decides if you can stand on dry sand, but the state is in charge of patrolling wet sand and water. It’s crazy! What are we doing? I believe it’s a nasty virus that has affected a lot of people, but this has gone way too far. 

Exclaimed another rally participant, “I want to go out! They’re stomping on my rights. I’m not sick and am not worried about getting sick. I think there’s just so much fear. Human beings are social animals and need to interact. We need to reopen for business!”

Several others in attendance at the rally were not affiliated with Cruisin’ Grand but were simply walking by or on their way to pick up food and decided to stop and join the crowd in support. 

One said, “I was on my way to get a pizza at Filippi’s [Pizza Grotto] when I saw what was going on. I just think it’s time to get back to normal. Forty million people are out of work and we need to reopen. I miss going out to all these places down here, many of which I fear might not reopen. I just wanted to come here to voice my support for them.” 

Others echoed these concerns, largely for those unemployed and the economy as a whole. “I’m retired but am worried about the future of our kids, their parents and the businesses of this community being able to stay afloat through and after all of this,” said one. “I want to help them out. That’s why I’m here. We have to get back to work.”

Members of Cruisin’ Grand and those who have joined in support to “reopen California” say they plan to continue gathering downtown every Friday night to maintain awareness for this cause. 

“I believe what we’re doing is important. The public must be made aware of what is going on and voices must be heard. Our leaders are starting to take notice as you can see from the Governor allowing the reopening of restaurants and stores. It feels we are getting more back to normal every day. We can’t let up the fight, though,” said one.

Said another, “We’re getting closer to getting back to where we want to be but we’re not there yet. Escondido has suffered greatly in terms of the economic impact of this lockdown, especially with Cruisin’ being shut down. It used to bring in so much money to the city but now it can’t. They say this might be the new normal. I don’t want the new normal, I want the old normal.”

3 responses to “Residents “Rally to Reopen” for 5th straight week in Escondido”

  1. Hamburger says:

    really?
    I dont want to get this virus,I dont want tone to get it.
    You can order from your restaurant right now and walk down Grand ( with a mask please)
    This isn’t about your rights,you have laws and rules you have been obiding by for years.You can not speed ,go in stores after they are closed…etc you have to wear shoes and shirts …etc.Its a rule ,follow it! Thats not a new for ya ‘all is it.
    You do know that the numbers for Covid in my Escondido zip code were at 7 a few weeks ago and is now 200+.Yes just in my zip code.
    So we are climbing in numbers.
    How about you and your fam go out in a crowd with that info!

    • BornNRaisedEscoSince88 says:

      I totally agree!! It’s disturbing and downright SAD to see how little these people care about OTHERS. Guess what, you might not give a F about getting sick, but I’m a perfectly healthy LOOKING 31yo F. However I’ve suffered from severe asthma since childhood & am on 1 oral med daily & 2 separate inhalers just to manage it. JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT GETTING SICK DOESN’T MEAN THAT I WANT TO BE PUT AT RISK OF DEATH WHEN I’M FORCED TO GO OUT. Normally my condition isnt an issue but during this pandemic it’s a DEATH SENTENCE. just because you wont get sick doesnt mean that I wont.

      I take care of my 2 very elderly (but otherwise incredibly healthy) 80+ yo grandparents for the family. If I get sick or catch the virus without showing symptoms I could kill them. My brother who lives nearby also has asthma & I could kill him because right now I’m unemployed but he & his wife are working. So I’m the one who has to help watch their 2 & 3 year olds while they work.

      Do you people not understand that IT ISNT ALL ABOUT JUST YOU?

      PLEASE care about your fellow man. Use your brains. Stop blindly barking about your rights being taken away. This is temporary. Just be a decent human. That’s all this is asking of us & its shocking & straight up pathetic / disgusting that all these dweebs are wasting their time off by running around spreading the virus.

      Things WILL go back to normal but doing stuff like this is going to put more & more at risk. I want cruising grand back too, my family can’t wait to take our classic VWs down there but we will not be spending our time protesting AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH. Yes this is crazy n awful n the beach comment is so true (I’m a surfer) but let’s occupy our time elsewhere until things can safely get back to normal. Trust in our elected leaders & officials instead of fighting against their advice. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we got ♥️

      Thank you Hamburger I appreciate your post & wow those stats are INSANE. People need to educate themselves on the #s bc they prob wouldn’t assume the risk if they actually knew. Or maybe, sadly, a lot of people only care when they’re the ones at risk. Doing anything for someone else is pretty stinking rare these days it’s sad.

    • David Drake says:

      What zip code are you?

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