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Encinitas surfers' protest reveals other fault lines

Bicyclists yell “Get out of my way,” “Go home"

Crista Curtis negotiates protest route with police.
Crista Curtis negotiates protest route with police.

“I’ve been crucified,” said Cardiff by the Sea resident Crista Curtis, as she surveyed what she helped to create on April 19.

“I’ve had death threats. I’ve had weird men telling me they were going to do horrible things to me,” she added at the event held on a typical sunny spring morning.

Curtis’ prior April 16 posts on Facebook and Nextdoor brought out hundreds to join her in voicing their opposition to the closure of Encinitas’ beaches, sidewalks, and the Coastal Rail Trail. Another hundred or so stood watching from the hillside above Coast Highway at Swami’s beach. Cars decorated with American flags and surfboards passed by giving honks of approval.

Not all passersby offered their support however. Several passing cyclists yelled at the protesters, “Get out of my way,” or “go home,” as the crowd gathered off the sidewalk into the bike lane. (The sidewalk along Coast Highway was officially closed to pedestrians a week before.)

“What gives them [bicyclists] the right to be outside and not us,” said one protester. The exchange of words pointed out the struggle between the city’s bicyclist lobby, and those that feel the city has supported road diets to create bike lanes.

It was mostly a younger under-40 crowd, many with families. Masks were passed out and protesters were encouraged to set the example by wearing them.

Covered by TV news helicopters, Curtis has now had to delete all posts referring to the event, and withdrawn from the same social media that brought out hundreds. She’s been accused of “killing future COIVID 19 patients” on social media.

For the most part, attendees stayed clear of national politics. However the San Diego Union Tribune chose in its Facebook posting the sole Trump 2020 flag prominently in their photo.

Sheriff’s Department officers watched the situation. About one hour into the event, the deputy in charge asked Curtis to not to take the group down Coast Highway.

“These guys are cool. I know them. They’re trying to help,” said Curtis of the deputy’s request. Instead the group decided to head up Santa Fe Drive, three blocks into Cardiff, and end up in front of Mayor Catherine Blakespear's house.

Mayor Blakespear however, in her most recent weekly e-Blast post, stated “I’ve been speaking with the leaders of other coastal cities about what we could do to influence the county to get the ocean back open.” She added that she believes city residents will practice distancing, and hold no large gatherings on the beach if they were opened.

After I posted some photos on Facebook, I too was vilified by many of my Facebook friends. 117 comments naming me “selfish,” “immature,” or “stupid.”

Drone footage of march by Tyler Whitehead

One protestor’s sign read, “Surfers have been practicing social distancing forever.” He told me, “Especially from kooks, groms, and hodads.”

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Crista Curtis negotiates protest route with police.
Crista Curtis negotiates protest route with police.

“I’ve been crucified,” said Cardiff by the Sea resident Crista Curtis, as she surveyed what she helped to create on April 19.

“I’ve had death threats. I’ve had weird men telling me they were going to do horrible things to me,” she added at the event held on a typical sunny spring morning.

Curtis’ prior April 16 posts on Facebook and Nextdoor brought out hundreds to join her in voicing their opposition to the closure of Encinitas’ beaches, sidewalks, and the Coastal Rail Trail. Another hundred or so stood watching from the hillside above Coast Highway at Swami’s beach. Cars decorated with American flags and surfboards passed by giving honks of approval.

Not all passersby offered their support however. Several passing cyclists yelled at the protesters, “Get out of my way,” or “go home,” as the crowd gathered off the sidewalk into the bike lane. (The sidewalk along Coast Highway was officially closed to pedestrians a week before.)

“What gives them [bicyclists] the right to be outside and not us,” said one protester. The exchange of words pointed out the struggle between the city’s bicyclist lobby, and those that feel the city has supported road diets to create bike lanes.

It was mostly a younger under-40 crowd, many with families. Masks were passed out and protesters were encouraged to set the example by wearing them.

Covered by TV news helicopters, Curtis has now had to delete all posts referring to the event, and withdrawn from the same social media that brought out hundreds. She’s been accused of “killing future COIVID 19 patients” on social media.

For the most part, attendees stayed clear of national politics. However the San Diego Union Tribune chose in its Facebook posting the sole Trump 2020 flag prominently in their photo.

Sheriff’s Department officers watched the situation. About one hour into the event, the deputy in charge asked Curtis to not to take the group down Coast Highway.

“These guys are cool. I know them. They’re trying to help,” said Curtis of the deputy’s request. Instead the group decided to head up Santa Fe Drive, three blocks into Cardiff, and end up in front of Mayor Catherine Blakespear's house.

Mayor Blakespear however, in her most recent weekly e-Blast post, stated “I’ve been speaking with the leaders of other coastal cities about what we could do to influence the county to get the ocean back open.” She added that she believes city residents will practice distancing, and hold no large gatherings on the beach if they were opened.

After I posted some photos on Facebook, I too was vilified by many of my Facebook friends. 117 comments naming me “selfish,” “immature,” or “stupid.”

Drone footage of march by Tyler Whitehead

One protestor’s sign read, “Surfers have been practicing social distancing forever.” He told me, “Especially from kooks, groms, and hodads.”

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Comments
5

Wrap your arrogance with an American flag and show us how brave you are. Whining about the fact that you can't go surfing while others can ride a bike. You think the virus can not get you because you are righteous in your righteous indignation over being asked to do your part to stem the spread of the virus. You should be proud of your protest to place your rights above those of your community. Your selfishness is proof of your stupidity.

April 22, 2020

The pandemic is separating the selfish from the unselfish and the ignorant from the intelligent. Shelter in place is hard for all of us, but those of us who care about the well being of others and our own health will take shelter in place very seriously. This saddens me, and it's happening everywhere.

April 22, 2020

Where's the NEWSSTORY? For ongoing years, Ken Harrison had credible pieces on the SDR website. But: for such a high-attention public-access event, This SDR article is extremely undersized. I expected that who-was-to-be-seen-to-have-written-this ----- to have more new-related features within it.

Rather, it was only the local media that had the closest to it, via the tv documentation, AND the interviewing of individuals.
KUSI be the overall winner in this; as FOX5 came next. But KUSI had what FOX5 missed. So I was awaiting to see what was SDR to bring. Big disappointment.

What would SDR legend Don Bauer possible found to perceive/add, if Don was still around?~

April 22, 2020

When will the media wise up? Be honest and informative, and report that these fake protests are organized by right-wing political operatives, and that their supporters are tiny in number compared to the overwhelming majority who don't want people running around infecting everyone else with the coronavirus.

April 24, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 26, 2020

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