Kirk, elected officials, others to join rally in Hemet demanding end to lockdowns


HEMET (CNS) – Several thousand people are expected to gather in Hemet Saturday, Oct. 17 to hear Riverside County elected officials and others call for an end to public health lockdowns and protest what they contend are unchecked and unconstitutional powers being exercised by the governor.
The “Open California Now” demonstration is planned for 10:30 a.m. on the lawn and parking lot outside the Dwelling Place Church, 27100 Girard St.
“Recent mandates that prohibit the American Dream and pursuit of happiness for small business owners need to be stopped,” according to a statement by the Redeeming America Tour, a sponsor of the Open California Now rallies. “Governments only exist to secure our rights. If any government becomes destructive of our rights, it is our duty to resist them and urge them to redress our grievances by all peaceful and lawful means, including in the courts.”
Among the slate of speakers for the Hemet protest, which must be designated as such to qualify for First Amendment protection because of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, are Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Menifee, Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner and Riverside County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Joseph DelGuidice.
It was announced Friday that Charlie Kirk will be the featured speaker.
District Attorney Mike Hestrin told City News Service he cannot attend because he’s away on business, and DelGuidice offered to stand in his stead.
Melendez and Morrell are expected to spotlight what they have described as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s misuse of emergency powers to unilaterally impose over-reaching regulations under the banner of public health security.
Earlier this year, Melendez proposed that the Legislature vote to end or place limits on the governor’s emergency powers, but the measure failed to gain traction.
Newsom has argued that he’s acting in the interest of public welfare amid ongoing threats from the coronavirus contagion. He said the COVID-19 case numbers and “science” — not politics — will dictate the state’s reopening plans.
When he rolled out a four-tier, color-coded system for guiding reopenings in late August, Newsom said he wanted to take a slower, more stringent approach to avoid a surge in cases.
“COVID-19 will be with us for a long time and we need to adapt,” Newsom said at the time. “… We must deal with this reality and this fundamental truth until there is a vaccine, until we have the kind of therapeutics that could substantially mitigate the spread and the impact of COVID-19, that we will simply need to adapt our behaviors until that time.”
A petition seeking Newsom’s recall will be circulated at Saturday’s rally, where speakers will also address the recent Michigan Supreme Court decision striking down the bulk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 emergency edicts and how that factors into a lawsuit challenging Newsom’s authority.
Speakers are also expected to detail the public health regulatory impacts on small businesses, some of which have closed permanently countywide because of the lockdowns, and the impacts of ongoing school closures.
“It is time for us as American citizens to stand up for our rights before they disappear before our eyes,” said co-organizer Sarah Stephens. “If we gather together … we can save California and save lives. If we can open our businesses, schools and churches, California can come back to life, and thousands, if not millions, of lives will be saved.”
Additional rallies are planned up to election day throughout the state, according to organizers.
More information is available at
The rally is flying in the face of orders by the California Department of Public Health that prohibits gatherings that “include more than 3 households are prohibited. This includes everyone present, including hosts and guests.”
The full published guidance on gatherings can be found here: