Coronavirus crisis: Large crowds gather in Huntington Beach to protest Newsom stay-at-home orders amid COVID 19 pandemic

Large crowds gathered in Huntington Beach packed closer than six feet to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home orders and beach closure.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Hundreds of people, possibly more than a thousand, gathered on the streets of Huntington Beach on Friday to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home orders.

Huntington Beach and several other Orange County cities have been among the most vocal in the state in opposition to the governor's restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.

In particular, his orders this week to close Orange County's beaches have triggered criticism and complaint from OC residents.

RELATED: 'Reopen California' protests demanding Gov. Newsom lift COVID-19 restrictions held in Sacramento

The crowds gathered a block from the beach, holding signs such as "Recall Newsom" and waving flags.

Many of them appeared to be standing close to each other, not obeying the six-foot distancing guidelines issued by the state and most health authorities.

RELATED: Gov. Gavin Newsom says California may be 'days, not weeks' from further reopening

A line of officers on horseback stood by to contain the crowds to the sidewalks. Nearby the beach appeared mostly empty, though not entirely, after Newsom's beach closure order took effect Friday.

DEVELOPING: This story will be updated.

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