More than 100 gather for ‘Reopen Santa Clarita’ rally

Hundreds gather on Valencia Boulevard near McBean Parkway during the reopen rally held in Valencia on Thursday, May 21, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal
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For the second time this month, more than 100 Santa Clarita residents stood at the corner of a Valencia intersection, demanding that Santa Clarita and California reopen.

A wide age range of protesters held signs demanding the reopening of the state, noting “all jobs are essential” or calling for the resignation of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The protest was scheduled to occur for two hours during rush-hour traffic near the corner of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard. While the protesters held up their signs, some passersby honked in approval or shouted their frustrations at the protestors.

Lisa DiGiovanni holds up her placard on the corner of Valencia Boulevard and McBean Parkway during the reopen rally held in Valencia on Thursday, May 21, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We’re protesting the lockdown of Santa Clarita and we’re hoping to apply a little pressure and get Gov. Newsom to look at Santa Clarita a little differently and maybe not lump us in with L.A. County,” said Camille Fay, one of the protestors holding up a sign about how all jobs are essential. “We just want folks to know that all jobs are essential, all businesses are essential.”

In addition to the signs about reopening due to wanting to go back to work, other signs asked people to take off their masks or called the COVID-19 pandemic a hoax.

While some of the protestors did not wear masks, Fay had a mask on and said masks are the key to reopening the community.

Hundreds gather on Valencia Boulevard near McBean Parkway during the reopen rally held in Valencia on Thursday, May 21, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I think we can do it with masks, I think we can do it 6 feet apart,” said Fay. “I don’t see the difference in doing that in a big box store and doing it in a hair salon.”

Noah Vandermeulen was at the protest with his family, he said, holding a sign asking if he could go back to school.

“It’s definitely been a weird way of doing things, no seeing friends, no seeing teachers, not being in a classroom, going to Zoom meetings instead of an actual classroom,” said Vandermeulen. “It’s been hard because I don’t get to see anyone.”

Hundreds gather on Valencia Boulevard near McBean Parkway during the reopen rally held in Valencia on Thursday, May 21, 20. Dan Watson/The Signal

When asked why he was at the protest, Vandermeulen said he and his family were “supporting what we believe and we’re supporting America.”

“We just want our freedom back and we just don’t want the government to tell us what to do,” said Chris Vandermeulen, Noah’s father. “It’s not necessary and we’re just kind of trying to take the country back.”

L.A. County officials said earlier this week they are targeting a reopening date of July 4.

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