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Peaceful Protest Planned Over COVID-19 Restrictions

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Sonora, CA — Concerned over strict COVID-19 public health orders a group of locals plan to literally, exercise their rights by stretching their legs in tandem downtown.

Rumblings about a peaceful protest beginning at high noon Wednesday in the form of a stroll up and down Washington Street while maintaining proper social distancing standards were shared with Clarke Broadcasting.

Cindy Zelinsky, owner of Emberz restaurant and a new bed-and-breakfast in downtown Sonora based in a newly renovated Victorian, confirmed she is among the group of about two dozen community members, some from churches and others who are small business owners. They are seemingly united in a perception of insufficient data driving many recent COVID-19 related actions.

Zelinsky specifically calls out a recent order from Tuolumne County Public Health stating that inappropriate public gatherings include two or more people who are not of the same household, and cites recent comments made by the sheriff and police chief about enforcement measures. She also thinks local government decisionmakers should support having more locally owned businesses deemed “essential” so they remain open.

“Technically we are able to exercise — go for a walk — so that is what we are doing,” she says dryly. The planned promenade up and down the main drag will last as long as folks want to walk. The rules are to be respectful, stay six feet apart, and for participants to articulate on whatever signage they might choose to carry their specific beefs.

“We want the conversation to be heard. Everyone has different reasons,” she explains. Most participants believe the Stay At Home order and shutdown of businesses and state and federal parks are eroding various Constitutional rights and freedoms without sufficient data.

For Guy Perea, owner of Abbey Carpet, pushing back is about not letting more restrictions continue to take more legal rights away. He confides that New Melones and other public lands closing down has him riled because locals used to accessing the facilities see shutting them down because they might be a draw for visitors as unacceptable.

Zelinsky adds that supporting the local economy in ways to make the situation better is key. “I don’t want to hear about fear. I am worried about mental health of the community…I know there are business owners on the brink of financial disaster and unable to emotionally deal with it.”

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