Opinion: These protestors crying oppression get almost no sympathy from readers

Protesters demonstrate in Huntington Beach on April 17 against stay-home orders that were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

It’s hard to think of a group of people — not politicians or public figures of any kind, but just normal people — who have drawn more howls of protest from our letter writers in such a short period of time than the crowds clamoring for an end to coronavirus-caused lockdowns in various cities, including right here in Los Angeles.

Since President Trump called on his Twitter followers to “liberate” certain states whose residents are under stay-home orders, leading to a protest in Huntington Beach on April 17 in which demonstrators appeared to disregard social distancing rules, nearly 100 readers have written letters condemning these acts of civil disobedience that they say put the public’s health at risk. A sizable portion of the letter writers suggested that any participants who become infected with COVID-19 forgo medical treatment.

Richard R. McCurdy of Burbank is one of a handful of readers to mention Darwinism:


Nobody likes the COVID-19 restrictions, which are designed to mitigate the spread of the deadly coronavirus. However, those who protest their loss of “freedom” and violate these restrictions will undoubtedly risk infecting themselves and others.

The inability or unwillingness of these people to realize this may well be a cruel manifestation of Darwinian natural selection.

Matt Kennedy of Pasadena criticizes the L.A. Times for covering these protests:

If you aren’t going to give coverage to every mentally ill person screaming something crazy in public, you shouldn’t be giving coverage to these equally unhinged groups whose message is actually harmful. Did you learn nothing from 2016?

If you didn’t shine a light on every root of ugliness, they would not grow into a forest of collective misery. The only way to deal with this kind of misinformed and misanthropic message is to shun it. Pay it no mind. Don’t publicize it.

Michael Lindley of Long Beach notes an irony:

Strange how so many Trump supporters who normally carry pro-life placards are now less interested in life and backing choice.


Noelle De Vita of Valencia asks for names:

The next time you cover these selfish protesters complaining about the Californian government trying to save lives, make sure you get pictures of everybody’s faces so the rest of us know who to avoid like the plague.

Los Angeles resident Sandrine Orabona worries about the right to protest:

I continue to read about “right-wing” protests against COVID-19 mitigation measures, and it is baffling to me that there has been less coverage of the “left-wing” socially distant (car) protests with people begging for financial support in the form of rent and mortgage suspension.

We are viewing these gatherings through one lens only, and this is stoking “liberal” outrage. Some are calling for an end to these protests and even locking up the protesters.

This puts our right to civil disobedience at risk and is in effect censoring a holistic view of the solutions needed when putting social mitigation measures in place for an extended amount of time.