Americans Defy Govt Shutdowns: Businesses, Protesters Stand Against Cali Gov. Newsom

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 5, 2020

The stories of defiance and free will are rising.


From St. Paul, Minnesota, where a generous barber named Milan Dennie – a man who weeks ago collected thousands of rolls of toilet paper and hand soaps to donate to neighbors – has safely reopened in defiance of Democrat Governor Tim Walz but to the pleasure of his voluntary customers, to two Arizona Sheriffs refusing to enforce Republican Governor Doug Ducey’s “Stay At Home” diktat, the tide is turning toward freedom.

And perhaps no state more dramatically reflects this trend than California, the ironically leftist bastion where pro-liberty people are rising up against the collectivist commands of Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom.

At the tip of the spear marches the staff of the El Dorado diner “Café El Dorado,” a tiny restaurant located along Pleasant Valley Road, featured in a recent story from KCRA TV3, and an establishment that just opened for in-house dining, in defiance of Newsom’s threats.

Offered owner Cherie Baldridge:

If you want to come in? You come in. If you don’t? You don’t.

Well said.

And customers did. Word spread. People were happy.

'I found myself just smiling the whole time. I was like, "Wow this feels awesome,"' customer Kathy Ralph said.

Added visitor Glenn Ralph:

It felt like getting back to normal.

It was a Pleasant Valley Sunday. But this isn’t sitting well with the political commissars of Commifornia.

Baldridge also received an email on Thursday from the El Dorado County Environmental Management Department, the group that issues restaurants permits and conducts health inspections. The email said the department received a complaint and requested, 'Please do not allow sit-down service at this time,' citing the statewide order.

And this goes to the heart of a problem that existed prior to Newsom’s statewide shutdown – something that exists in every state: licensing and permitting from government.

The battle against this kind of shutdown is lost when people do not defy state commands that individuals simply offering things to others – be that food, or barbering, or any other product or service – must first be given “Permission” (with a capital “P”) from the government. This is a faulty precept, and leaves entrepreneurs like Ms. Baldridge (and like Mr. Dennie in MN) vulnerable to the state “shutting them down” by “pulling their licenses”. It’s nothing more than a shakedown racket to control the lives and livelihoods of others, and in order to question the shutdown diktats happening now, one MUST see that the seed of that kind of perverse and evil thinking is planted by the state demanding that people get “licenses” to engage in peaceful voluntary market transactions where no one is forced to do anything.

The only agency that operates through force is the state. And because of the state and its anti-liberty nature, Ms. Baldridge was at risk of losing everything, even as her clientele were prevented from making free choices about their own lives.

Baldridge said she had to reopen after getting two eviction notices… ‘One more month, I was done,’ she said. ‘No more business, livelihood, life savings, gone.’

But she opened, and people could exercise their free will, and they all stood in defiance of Newsom.

'I have to eat. I have to pay my bills. They're my rights. This is my business and I have the rights to keep it open,' Baldridge said.

In fact, so many responded, the café ran out of food an hour before the expected closing time. But, perhaps, the fact that people exercised their rights will sustain them until tomorrow and allow them to see that they aren’t alone.

In fact, even as Ms. Baldridge stood up for her rights, hundreds of strong-willed people showed up at the California Capitol Building to teach Newsom and the State Assembly a lesson about freedom.

On May 1, as dozens of armed and helmeted police lined up (no social distancing for them), the CA people faced-off, holding signs and recording the insulting show of government force. And one man, a doctor named Cordie Lee Williams climbed onto a piece of concrete, lifted a megaphone and talked to them.

'In the face of tyranny, in the face of freedom, are you going to sit there in your riot gear against peaceful protesters?' he asked. 'Or are you going to say, "You know what, it's time to stand up for my country. Because I took an oath of office and it said, I will defend all enemies, foreign and domestic."'

Williams is a former U.S. Marine who swore that oath. And he added:

You might lose your job, but I'd rather lose my job than lose my soul.

Enough said.