SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. - The echo of “let us work” could be heard a few blocks away in the usually quiet street where Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl lives. A few dozen people turned into at least 50, as owners of various types of businesses joined the rally.
What began as a rally protesting the ban on outside eating at LA County restaurants turned into a bigger protest, as all of Southern California goes into a new stay-at-home order.
The emerging leader in the movement is Angela Marsden, the owner of the Pineapple Hill Bar and Grill in Sherman Oaks. She posted a video on social media that went viral when she saw a movie catering setup happening right in front of her shuttered business.
Many of the people spotted at Saturday's rally told FOX 11 they were here because of Marsden's tearful post.
“They are blaming the regular person, saying it’s all our fault when they just can’t admit that what they have been doing has not worked. And what's more, they have destroyed people’s lives” says the owner of a chain of spas from Simi Valley.
“They tell us to do one thing and they do what they want” says a restaurant owner from Santa Monica, referring to reports of Sheila Kuehl dining at an Italian restaurant, just a few hours after she voted for the ban on outside eating.
The order had not gone into effect, but the move was seen as hypocritical by many.
Kuehl did not appear to be at home and has not issued a reaction to today’s rally, which remained peaceful, if loud.
The state’s order takes precedence over mandates by the County Health Department, so the anger is now also pointed at Governor Gavin Newsom, who was also photographed while eating at a restaurant with a group of people, wearing no masks.
The sense of anger is as palpable as is the despair in many of those we talked to, who are at the end of their financial rope. Some are saying they will defy the orders, others say they will go underground with their services, but that is not an option for restaurants.
Beyond the regional stay-at-home order, they fear that LA County will keep their restaurant eating ban, even after the three-week regional restrictions are done.
“I am done, it’s all over…” says one businessperson.
“Not if we can help it,” answers Marsden, addressing the crowd and Kuehl's house with a loudspeaker. “Come out, see what you have done, or just let us work!"
A GoFundMe page has been launched to help Marsden's business. You can click here for more information.