In the majority of communities that make up Los Angeles County hard-working people in areas like East Los Angeles, Northeast Los Angeles, and South Central, common sense activism prevails. No anti-restriction protesters were seen demonstrating in these working-class communities. I’m sure there are many other communities that showed the same response. Although the media likes to cover these anti-restriction protesters simply because of their photogenic appeal. let’s be clear. There is no anti-quarantine movement. Opinion polls show that most Americans don’t want restrictions on public gatherings lifted too soon.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been intense coverage of demonstrators marching against the pandemic restrictions. What also makes these events attractive for the news is the fact that the president has sided with the rabble-rousers and has defended virus restriction protest saying at a national news press conference, “these people are just like me.”
What also makes these events attractive for the news is the fact that the president has sided with the rabble-rousers and has defended virus restriction protest.
The protesters are against the restrictions placed on them by governors due to Covid-19, mostly the stay-at-home order. These rabble-rousers are misguided in so many ways. It's easy to yell, shout slogans, stand in the streets for a few hours, and carry signs. These protesters, like the president, refuse to accept the science behind the coronavirus spread. Like the president, they place the blame on others. They end up taking the easy way out. They individually come out to protest in hopes that one of their protest signs is shown on the latest news. Not to mention that many of these same protesters are the president’s staunch supporters.
Most of the anti-restriction group connections and actions are small. Why? Because they can’t and won’t organize masses of people. Their message is simply meant to reach out to the media in hopes of having their street sideshow somehow change the minds of people. Their message of resistance bears no relationship on what is on the minds of most people or how the pandemic affects working-class people’s everyday lives.
The anti-restriction rabble-rousers have not spoken one word about the death toll on our communities. No word about people suffering from lack of food, lack of finances nor how children’s lives have been severely disputed. They are not concerned about people losing their homes, how to pay rent and make other payments. No one shows signs concerning the shortage of medical supplies, not one word regarding our poor and inadequate health care system.
While these rabble-rousing misguided protesters yell and shout, some carrying rifles, and confederate flags, they don’t even know what connection this has with Covid-19, they refuse to see the threat they post of others. This type of malign behavior and messaging doesn't work in communities that adhere to common-sense actions. It is a dangerous and stupid approach. But like I mentioned. These rabble-rousers are not interested in reaching a broad base of residents in order to educate or organize. The protesters can’t even suggest a better way of correcting what they believe is wrong? They are not concerned about Covid-19. They are only interested in preaching to the Trump choir.
People in communities throughout Los Angeles are upset, frustrated, and worried. We all want this pandemic to end. We all want to get back to some sense of normalcy. We all want the economy to work for us. Working-class communities face untold hardships. But common sense prevails. We don’t want death at our doorsteps. We respect others and don’t want this deadly pandemic to spread. A second pandemic can hit our communities again, more deadly than the first wave. Our common sense will guide us. We will listen to the experts on the issues and not the demagogy of politicians. Hopefully, the medical science specialist will develop a vaccine soon.
If you're waiting for the rabble-rousers to come up with a solution. Well, don't hold your breath, but cover your ears so you won't hear all the yelling and screaming.
David Trujillo. Playwright, writer, and community activist. David is a member of the National Writers Union (NWU) and al long-time Trade union activists.