Angry surfers on the march against quarantine in (blue) Encinitas
Southern California surfers, who aren't exactly political types as a rule, had a surprise for the city officials writing them tickets for...surfing.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:
A crowd of roughly 200 people gathered in Encinitas Sunday morning to protest the closure of beaches and walking trails because of concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Later in the day, San Diego County officials announced that 55 new COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed, bringing the region's total to 2,268. The number of local residents who have died from COVID-19 remained at 71.
Encinitas protesters carried signs with phrases such as: "This is punishment not protection," "Surfing is not a crime," "Government knows best LOL," "Your fear doesn't remove my rights," and "Commies can't surf."
Some protesters carried Trump 2020 signs and flags, and many waved American flags. Drivers in dozens of vehicles on South Coast Highway honked for the protesters, including an Encinitas fire truck.
There's nothing like interfering with one's life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, which is what this protest is all about.
Apparently, interfering with surfing, which is why many of them live there, is cause for protest. I know some surfers — my late brother-in-law was featured in Tom Wolfe's 1968 Pumphouse Gang — and what I know is that the sentiment they hold for their sport and way of life is intense. In Wolfe's book, their contempt for cops was pretty intense, too. Surfing is their pursuit of happiness, and they're tired of all the policing, which, in Encinitas, a city of 62,000 with just 30 coronavirus cases, looks excessive, especially out in the ice-cold Pacific, where wet suit–clad surfers do their thing with plenty of social distancing, especially from the sharks.
A few days earlier, surfers protested in a smaller march in more conservative Huntington Beach, up the coast, so the protests may well be about to come in waves. As Kurt Schlicter, writing in his estimable column today, argued, you can't impose a raft of petty rules on a population unwilling to follow them.
In Encinitas, the roused surfer population commands some attention.
I grew up near Encinitas, I’ve never seen a protest there of any kind until this. They’re chanting “Let us surf!” pic.twitter.com/ujwUsobPec— Little Jackie Paper (@RussFinkelstein) April 19, 2020
Encinitas is the blue, lefty, hippie-dippie, rich, New Age enclave of San Diego County. It's the home of Swami Beach, where the whole thing happened. The place is blue, light blue, according to this screen-grabbed snippet from the New York Times' interactive map below:
...and dark blue following 2018's ballot harvestings:
For this kind of protest to happen suggests a red side that may returning. Less than three years ago, Encinitas was red, represented by Rep. Darrell Issa, so its blue veneer now represents a recent flip.
Might this harbor a comeback for California to its historic red representation? It's hard to say, but it seems possible, given that the intensity of sentiment has reached Encinitas. We all know that Australia's surfer population rose up in arms in 2006 with its famous bikini march over sick statements of Islamofascist Muslim migrant mullahs and gangs of Islamic youths earlier attacking their bathing suit lifestyle. Its political impact was inconclusive, as there wasn't much in the way of elections that year, but again, the bikini march stood out, same as the surfer marches do, all because they aren't the places where you'd expect them.
Here are some television screen shots taken with a camera to describe how it looked: