Leopo: Crowds Swarm OC Beaches to Protest Stay at Home Order

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

Julie Leopo

An enterprising and award-winning photojournalist in Orange County and beyond. Leopo, as Voice of OC’s Director of Photography, has captured a wide array of photographs visually documenting the news and soul of Orange County local government and community. Her work has also appeared in Vice, KCET, Ed Source, The California Endowment and OC Weekly.

Subscribe now to receive emails letting you know about her latest work.

Once the Voice of OC newsroom found out crowds were converging on the streets in Huntington Beach, I went to the front lines to see what the beaches looked like.


Editor’s Note: As Orange County’s only nonprofit & nonpartisan newsroom, Voice of OC brings you the best, most comprehensive local Coronavirus news absolutely free. No ads, no paywalls. We need your help. Please, click here to make a tax-deductible donation today to support your local news.


In Laguna Beach, along Pacific Coast Highway, you could see the beaches completely empty with unmarked sand. 

Yet starting at Crystal Cove State Park, CHP officers were redirecting pedestrians and cyclists from the sidewalks that trail the scenic beach. Many looked visibly upset.  

Once onto Pacific Coast highway in Huntington Beach, you could start to see protestors walking towards Main St. 

Many walked holding American and Trump flags, often drawing enthusiastic honks from nearby cars. 

All sorts of traffic moved up and down the coast, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, skateboarders, car protestors — and I counted about five helicopters hovering above. 

Soon, all the noises came together, creating what played out to be Orange County’s largest Coronavirus quarantine protest.

A protestor walks on the Pacific Coast Highway holding her sign up to cars honking in support on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

A protestor makes her way to Main St. on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Police lined up along Pacific Coast Highway during the protest on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Police lined up along Pacific Coast Highway during the protest on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A car in front of the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach displays a Trump and American flag on May 1, 2020. The hotel placed a banner on their balcony in support of first responders.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A closed entrance to the Huntington Beach State Park on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A woman is given a flag by the car next to her. She waves her flag as cars honk in support on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Helicopters circling the protest in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A woman tapes a sign to her car as traffic comes to a complete stop on Pacific Coast Highway on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A motorcyclist on Pacific Coast Highway displays an American flag on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Protestors hold up signs and walk on Main St. during the protest on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A protestor rides his bike with a message on a surf board.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A protestor makes her way to Main St. on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A protestor hold the American flag during the Fully Open CA protest in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest on Main St. in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

The Fully Open CA protest in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

Highway Patrol monitors Pacific Coast Highway during the Fully Open CA protest in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A protestor holds up a sign from her car during the Fully Open CA protest in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2020.

JULIE LEOPO, Voice of OC

A road sign on Pacific Coast Highway on May 1, 2020.