A pop-up protest in Paso Robles yesterday. It began at eleven yesterday morning with a short meeting at Carnegie library and continued all day in downtown Paso Robles. Police were aided by officers from other jurisdictions including Atascadero, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay and deputies from the sheriff’s department. Sheriff Ian Parkinson himself came to Paso Robles to help manage the protesters. You may remember sheriff Parkinson coordinated security at the mid-state fair for years. He knows how to handle crowds. Although there were concerns about violence and vandalism, it never manifested.
Around five yesterday afternoon, Paso Robles police chief Ty Lewis talked with the leaders of the protest and convinced them to leave the area, after six hours of demonstrations. Rumors about the demonstration appeared all over social media. The concerns of local business owners exacerbated by report of the violent nature of the demonstration in San Luis Obispo Monday night, where protesters through bottles, rocks and other debris at police. There, the police fired tear gas after the demonstrators refused to disburse at eight Sunday night. The protesters stopped at the intersection of 12th and Pine around 4:00 yesterday noon. That was the final stand off. Protesters lined up facing about 8 police officers. Some yelled profanities and insults at the police, but the police stood silently and allowed them to vent their anger.
The protest in Paso Robles ended around 5:00 yesterday afternoon when the police chief and the leaders of the demonstration knelt and prayed together. Then the chief encouraged the protesters to go home and most did so. Some lingered in the downtown city park for hours, but the police stayed as well. Regardless, some downtown businesses boarded up their windows to prevent looting.