People gather near Huntington Beach Pier to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdown order. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

Huntington Beach Police said 2,500 to 3,000 people gathered at the Huntington Beach Pier on Friday to protest the statewide lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Man of the protesters did not wear face coverings. Police on horseback kept them out of the streets.

One of the protesters, Monica Beilhart of Tustin, said “only a few” of the demonstrators wore masks and that some of the local stores opened for business. A plane flew overhead with a banner referring to the governor as “gruesome Newsom” as it called on him to “open California.”

“People are out here with their shirts off, sunlight, enjoying the weather,” Beilhart said. “They’re chanting ‘USA,’ chanting about the constitution, and just trying to get their voices heard.”

Referring to earlier, smaller protests, Beilhart said Friday saw a larger gathering because of the governor’s beach closure order.

“It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she said. “It was uncalled for, unnecessary and people out here are making that known. And we’re also very much saying enough is enough, we have the right to work, people have the right to work and that it’s time for the governor to allow the healthy to be able to get back to business.”

No arrests were reported.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.