Rally at Government Center | “We The People” came; despite lockdown and Facebook shutdown

By Michael Hernandez 

VENTURA—Despite a Ventura County lockdown and a Facebook shutdown of the event page—“We The People” came—1,000 strong to the Ventura County Government Center on Friday, May 1st from 12 noon to 2 p.m. for a #Fullyopen CA rally: one of six rallies held today throughout California.

“This is a dystopia nightmare and we are here to tell our elected officials the first three words of the U.S. Constitution and let them know who the king is?—We The People,” said Newbury Park

Pastor Rob McCoy

Godspeak Pastor Rob McCoy, a former councilman and Mayor of the City of Thousand Oaks.  “We are here to tell our County Supervisors, ‘to stop it.’   This is a growing movement of freedom. It doesn’t matter the cost.  We are here to declare the truth.

“Come and join us, protect this great nation for our children and grandchildren.   Less than 10 percent of the people fought in the Revolutionary War and we now have enjoyed 240 years of freedom.”

In promoting the rally on Thursday’s Fireside Chat, Pastor Rob said:  “We are at the epicenter for the resistance in Re-Opening California.   We have the right to peacefully assemble, for freedom of speech, freedom of the press.  March to Open CA is about getting rid of the draconian measures that have shut-down Ventura County and is about getting people back to work.

“We stand by those who govern by our consent.  But they need to be aware of the power of the ballot box.  They need to stand with the people that elected them.  They need to yield to the rights of the people they swore to protect.”

According to rally organizer, Steve Vander Zwaag of Simi Valley, “We organized this rally as a response to liberty, the First Amendment and to help others.  The is the biggest power grab we have ever seen.  We need to stop and think and consider what is going on.  Otherwise,  our children’s future for the next generation will be obliterated and our way of life will no longer exist.”

Steve Vander Zwaag and his wife, Jessica, owners of Zwaag Termite Control, along with Gina Bacon of Hollywood Beach (a business consultant who previously worked at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles), provided leadership of the 30 volunteers who worked the Ventura rally.

Leading chants during the rally was John Ziegler, a journalist; a radio host; and a film writer/director.  “Are we anti-science?  No.   Are we against old people? No.  Are we in favor of the virus? No.   Do we believe this is a hoax?  No.  Do we believe in common sense?  Yes.  Do we believe it is a bad ideas to use law enforcement to close our beaches?   Yes.

“I have taught my kids that law enforcement are the good guys that protect our rights and not take them away.  Law enforcement are you going to be on the side of the people or on the side of tyranny.”

“I came to speak about the violent crimes and the 8,000 percent increase in the crisis calls,” said Thousand Oaks Psychologist Dr. Shannae Anderson who gave four real stories of individuals struggling during covid-19: 

M:  “Battered and bruised and can’t receive child protection service” because of being locked up at home.

R:  “She struggles with anxiety and depression being home alone and unable to connect.  She is suicidal and wants to die.”

T:  “She can’t go to the gym or the bible study where she was being helped to leave an abusive relationship.  Trapped at home—a victim of domestic violence and can’t get help.

M:  “He has been clean and sober from drugs for two-and-one-half years.  He now has a wife and baby but he is about to relapse because he lost his job and has no hope.

“We need to Re-Open.  I think of the silent millions with mental health issues.  They are being abused.  We fight for them.”

“Don’t give up, don’t give in.  God is in control.  Freedom is not free it is earned through sacrifice,” said Josh Solare, who works at a Riverside mortgage office.

A petition started by #Fully Open CA to Governor Gavin Newsom states:  “We the people of the United States of America have a right to the freedoms provided under The Constitution and demand our officials FULLY OPEN CALIFORNIA no later than May 1, 2020.

Video by Tim McCoy
“The cure is worse than the disease.  Poverty and civil unrest will kill more than this virus has.  The healthy and the able have a right to live their lives with reasonable precautions for their health.”

An English/Spanish info card distributed at the rally by “Residents to Re-Open Ventura County” gave participants Four Things That You Can Do:

[email protected]

[email protected]

  • MAKE Public Comments:
    • Ventura County Board of Supervisors: May 5
    • Camarillo City Council: May 13
    • Ojai City Council: May 12
    • Oxnard City Council: May 5
    • Fillmore City Council: May 12
    • Moorpark City Council May 20
    • Port Hueneme City Council: May 4
    • Santa Paula City Council: May 6
    • Simi Valley City Council: May 4, May 11
    • Thousand Oaks City Council: May 12
    • Ventura City Council: May 4
  • PRAY: National Day of Prayer:  Thursday, May 7 (8 a.m.; 2 p.m.; 8 p.m.)

Phone Line:  1-516-604-9586 (Access:  389244#)

Prior to the Ventura County Government noon rally, a group of 65 cars and 100 individuals which included farmworkers rallied in the parking lot outside of the Gold’s Gym parking lot, 150 West Esplanade (by the Oxnard Food 4 Less) to take a caravan past the Oxnard fields to go to the Camarillo field office of California State  Assemblywoman (44-D) Jacqui Irwin who with State Senator Henry Stern (27-D)  has a regular teleconference town hall on the coronavirus ever Friday at 4 p.m. (English) and at 5:30 p.m. (Spanish). 

The event was promoted as “Bail Out The Working Class!” and celebrated International Workers Day (May 1st):#Our FamiliesAreEssential and #MayDay805.  The major issue: “Cancel Rent.”  Community organizers seen at the event included those from Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP).

Photo Credits: Micheal Hernandez

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].

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Mariann Niglio

The most important thing to protect is our constitution and our republic. Those of you who want to live in a “democratic dictatorship” such as the governance is now are free to do so.
But I do not want to live in a country that is without the legislative branch of government. Congress surely you can figure out a way to get back to work.


This Gina Bacon who is mentioned in this article is a proven out of control racist. Google her name and the word Ventura and the do a story about that

Citizen Reporter

We have investigated it and believe it to be false. We cannot disclose our investigation while the Sheriff’s office is working on it. Ms Bacon has turned over all evidence to them, which she probably wouldn’t have done if she was guilty. Be patient a bit longer.


SHILL ALERT>>>> comments by draconian actors John Hankins and Connie

S. Marinus

This is not a commie state even though the libs are trying to turn it.
The first amendment is one of them.
We need to open up and get back to work!

Bruce Boyer Candidate for Ventura County Sheriff

It was so awesome to be there and see so many parents with their kids! First liberty rally! Hardly anybody had masks we shook hands hugged each other! What a great return to reality! There was NO social distancing! We were all right there together! if the ‘experts” are truthful then we will all die ; ifthey are lying… we will all be back each and every friday at NOON until we have our County back. protests started before noon I came for my requested 11:30 Shoot-back protest start time the sidewalk was already well crowded! We had people on both sides of Victoria and spilling all over! The moving video misses 1/2 of us! people that came at noon and left had others come. People were still showing up at 2PM!

John Hankins

Let’s just call this American Roulette. You are endangering the whole community by not doing social distancing, wearing protection etc. Especially first responders, hospital workers et al.
What’s ironic to me is you want your freedom and our community to ‘open up’ again. Gee, don’t we all. Actually you don’t because what you’re doing is spreading the disease. The irony is that the CDC and local advice is to PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
What don’t you get? We want you to be alive and well, so stop this ‘protest’.
As for religious leaders, shame on you for participating in this ‘protest’. Pray safely via the internet and at home, God will hear you, I hear.

Caleb Standafer

Before getting carried away about whether staying home protects people from illness, there are two points to consider. First, COVID 19 can only get transmitted to a person from someone who has it. I have an MD friend who says that would require a sick person coughing. As I walked through the crowd several times today, nobody was coughing. Second, the risk of transmission outdoors, on a sunny breezy day in Ventura, is extremely low. This is a link to an article about a study of where people got COVID 19.
I know this is about a study that may be preliminary, but what was thought may happen 6 weeks ago needs to be updated with more current information. It seems the risk is much less than previously thought.

Nancy Ambriz

They endanger their lives and lives of others. No one is locked up or losing freedom. The fact they are free to assemble and speak up without fear is proof that freedom of speech is protected, regardless that the message is misguided. Next time they want to exercise it, practice social distancing and protect yourself and our community from spreading this deadly virus!


I can’t believe that many people gathered with the fires out there and then they brought their children far as I’m concerned as a mother I would never do that that’s child endangerment these people are playing Russian roulette with our children’s life