Two protests will be taking place today calling for an end to the shutdown.
The first one will take place at noon at State and Gutierrez streets, and is being coordinated by the Santa Barbara Tea Party & Culpepper Society, but is not a Tea Party event.
The protestors will speak on ideas such as the “right to earn a living,” “right to freedom of religion” and “right to free speech,” according to the event flyer.
The organization referred to the lockdowns as “unconstitutional,” and said, “The cure must not be worse than the disease.”
There will also be a petition to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom at the event.
In addition, the organization plans to hold another protest on Dec. 19.
The other protest today will take place at noon as well at 1151 Coast Village Road.
Coordinating this protest is Gene Montesano, who owns many small businesses in Santa Barbara such as Lucky Brand Jeans, Joe’s Cafe, Lucky’s Steakhouse, Tre Lune Restaurant, D’Angelo Bakery, Bucatini Restaurant, Jean Shop, Civilianaire and more.
“This is not about me or the restaurant or political or the restaurant making money or not,” Mr. Montesano told the News-Press Friday. “We’ve had to lay off almost 75 people with all the restaurants.
“Some of these people don’t have savings, so they will not have a great holiday.”
He said that since the pandemic began, only one individual tested positive for COVID-19, so he shut down all the restaurants and everyone tested negative within a week, so they opened back up.
“I just thought it would be nice to get the community’s attention to these people who serve them all the time that they’re going to have a lousy holiday,” Mr. Montesano said. “All I’m hearing from all of our guests is, ‘We wish you were open,’ ‘We support you,’ ‘You can open,’ and that’s what I’m hearing.
“It’s all about getting these people back to work so everyone can have a happy holiday. Who wants to do takeout and stay at home?”
— Grayce McCormick