An estimated 400 people gathered in San Diego to peacefully protest Governor Newsom’s shutdown of the state’s economy. At this time, we are unaware of any other participants being charged with a crime. The charged protester had shared information about the protest on social media, which may have led to the authorities deciding to single her out for punishment.
“The First Amendment guarantees the right to peacefully protest,” said Harmeet K. Dhillon, Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Liberty. “Our client participated in a responsible protest adhering to social distancing guidelines. She, along with other protestors, stood six feet apart on a public sidewalk.”
“It is outrageous that our client is being charged with a crime for participating in constitutionally protected activity,” explained Dhillon. “The right to assemble and to petition the government does not exist if there are topics that are off limit,”
“Governor Newsom cannot shut down the state’s economy and then prosecute criminally freedom-loving Californians who peacefully protest his decision,” concluded Dhillon. “Nor may county and city officials abuse their power to punish protesters expressing protected opinions and doing so in a lawful and safe manner. We intend to fight San Diego’s punishment of our client if the authorities decide to proceed with this ill-advised attempt to chill the speech of Americans.”
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