About 50 environmental protesters showed up at Goleta’s Elks Lodge on Kellogg Avenue on Saturday afternoon to express their displeasure at the arrival of former Interior secretary Ryan Zinke — who showed up driving a white Mercedes sports coupe — at a fundraising event to honor a Republican Party activist. The protesters also targeted former county supervisor Mike Stoker — now West Coast regional director of the EPA — with chants of “Lock him up.” Stoker claims to have originally instigated that chant, targeting Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Activists with Forest Watch and Food & Water Watch hosted the event to protest Zinke’s efforts to shrink the boundaries of several large national monuments created in the past 20 years. The Carrizo Plain was on the initial list of candidates but was ultimately spared any boundary modifications.
Three Sheriff’s patrol cars were called to the protest in response to complaints of loud noise. The deputies ascertained the protesters — who massed on both sides of the driveway that Zinke and Stoker drove through — were conducting themselves in a legal fashion; no citations were issued.