May 16, 2020
New California State supporters rally for freedom to support Elon Musk in front of Tesla’s corporate office in Fremont, Calif., on May 13, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)
FREMONT, Calif.—Supporters of the New California State movement, which aims to separate part of California from the rest and form a new state, stood in front of Tesla’s corporate office in Fremont to rally for freedom on May 13.
The group, along with others opposed to the extended lockdown, gathered around noon to support Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, so the company would stay in California for the sake of its thousands of employees.
On May 9, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Alameda County’s shelter-in-place order and threatened to move out of California.
In response, the founder and president of New California State, Paul Preston, proposed that he would include the city in New California.
“He’s talking about taking jobs out of California, and actually it’s New California, because we’re going to incorporate, as of today … that Fremont is going to become part of New California, the state,” Preston told The Epoch Times.
“We can give him a constitution; we can give him a state in which he can be very, very viable,” he said.
Paul Preston (C) announces that New California State would include the city of Fremont, during the rally in front of Tesla’s corporate office on May 13, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times) Listen to Paul Preston Below>
Children and adults show support at the rally in front of Tesla’s corporate office in Fremont, Calif., on May 13, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)
Aside from the rally demonstration, Preston has not reached out to Musk about his proposal yet. Preston said the staff and police have been very supportive.
“We’re going to come back to support Musk and his employees. That’s what we think good governance is all about,” said Preston.
Marc Joffe, senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation, was present because he believes the lockdown needs to end.
“I think it’s very exciting that Elon Musk has taken the lead in resisting the extreme lockdown measures that we have in the Bay Area,” Joffe told The Epoch Times. “That’s going to bring the massive poverty, long lines for food banks, depression, suicide. We need to figure out how to safely restart our economy so that people can once again be successful.”
Tammy Mendoza (R) holds a sign during the rally in front of Tesla’s corporate office in Fremont, Calif., on May 13, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)
“Losing their homes, losing their businesses, losing everything that they’ve built their lives on. We need to open up. We need to let them go back to work,” Tammy Mendoza from Brentwood, California, told The Epoch Times. “If people are old or they have health issues, or they feel afraid, they should stay home. They should wear [a] mask.”
Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that Tesla should reopen and that it can be done quickly and safely.
Tesla has announced why it is restarting and released a guidebook for its employees about safety practices at work.
New California State supporters rally for freedom in front of Tesla’s corporate office to support Elon Musk in Fremont, Calif., on May 13, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)
New California State supporters display their support to those driving on the 880 freeway on May 13, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)
“Elon Musk has been very vocal in objecting to the arbitrary lockdown laws declaring some businesses essential and other businesses not,” Patrick Peterson, coordinator for the Bastiat Society of Silicon Valley, told The Epoch Times.
“My view is that everybody—every individual and every business—is essential to themselves, and that’s what freedom is all about,” said Peterson.
“[Elon Musk], along with many business entities in the country, realize that we need to have a balance between the economic life and health life of citizens like us,” Peter Kuo, vice chair of the California Republican Party, told The Epoch Times.
People at the rally expressed that they believe the governor should stand by his promise to reopen the state on time, rather than extending the opening date.
“Yes, the virus is horrible, but we have followed everything that the state has told us to do for 30 days. Initially, they told us [in] 30 days they will open up. That time has come and gone, so I really feel that it is high time,” said Kuo.
“I think people know what to do. They know the dangers and risks. I think that they need to take personal precautions in order to stay safe and stay healthy,” Orrin Heatlie, lead proponent for Recall Gavin Newsom, told The Epoch Times. “But there’s nothing that would preclude them from going back to work and exercising safe working practices.”
On the same day, Alameda County said Tesla may reopen next week if conditions are met.
A standoff between Tesla owner Elon Musk and officials from California’s Alameda County came to an end on Wednesday following the county’s decision to allow Tesla’s factory in Fremont to reopen despite the state’s restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. Dozens of Tesla supporters organized by New California State rallied by the side of a road in Fremont, waving American flags and holding signs demanding the state to ease restrictions.
According to reports, the electric vehicle assembly plant might be ready to be operational as early as next week providing they comply with safety and health measures for employees. Amid California officials’ concern over workers’ safety, Elon Musk had threatened to move his company’s headquarters out of the state. Musk gained US President Donald Trump’s support on Tuesday to resume work at the factory, following a tweet by Musk the day before where he assured he was going to defy the state’s order to keep the factory closed and stating that if anyone should be arrested it would have to be him.