Protesters on State Street | Credit: Delaney Smith

“Put kids back in school!”

This was the chant coming from about 40 protesters who marched up State Street Friday evening in fierce opposition to Governor Gavin Newsom’s new regional lockdown order.

“More people need to question [COVID-19] testing,” said protestor Aimee Smith, who was carrying a sign that read “Lockdowns kill.” Smith said that there are “major flaws” with the PCR tests used to determine COVID-19 cases, including conflicts of interest with the test studies and that the test’s false-positive rate exceeds 90 percent. The Independent was unable to verify Smith’s claims.

“This [COVID-19] is not significantly more deadly than the flu,” Smith continued. 

The Center for Disease Control has stated that COVID-19 poses a bigger threat than the flu because even though about 80 percent of people are asymptomatic, the numbers show the virus is about 10 times more deadly than the flu.

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Greg Hammel, who recently ran unsuccessfully for the Goleta Union School Board, attended the protest, too. His main concern, he said, was reopening the schools. 

“Zero out of 100,000 children in the county have died from COVID-19,” Hammel said, “and only one person under the age of 30. Young people just aren’t getting it. We need our kids back in school.”

The group marched from the corner of State and Gutierrez Street up through the State Street Promenade wielding signs similar to Smith’s or related to reopening schools and businesses. Some challenged established COVID-19 data. 

A similar march is planned for noon Saturday in Ventura.

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