Dozens of people rallied outside Disneyland on Saturday, calling on officials to reopen California amusement parks amid the pandemic.
CBS affiliate KCAL reports the demonstration was attended by a mix of park-goers and laid-off Disneyland and Universal Studios employees. Both theme parks ceased operations back in March due to coronavirus concerns. Their shopping and dining areas, however, reopened over the summer with restrictions.
"We’ve been coming here for years, ever since (my daughter) was like3 months old," Jennifer Grafius told the outlet. "The cast members have always been here to support us and they make us have a good time. We need to support them. It’s our turn to be out here hitting the pavement to get their jobs back."
Approximately 40 people participated in the rally. Some of them were holding signs that aimed at California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
About a month ago, Disney Parks chairman Josh D'Amaro publicly pressured the state of California to reopen the theme park, stating local officials needed "to treat theme parks like you would other sectors and help us reopen."
A couple of weeks later, Gov. Newsom held a press conferencing saying the state is working with the parks to establish guidelines for a safe reopening, but emphasized officials are in "no hurry."
As pointed out by Deadline, his comments were made on the same day Disney World announced nearly 9,000 part-time union employees would be laid off.
Disney Parks Chief Medical Officer Dr. Pamela Hymel released a subsequent statement, insisting the company has taken the necessary steps to ensure operations can resume with minimal risks.
"The fact is, that since March, we have taken a robust science-based approach to responsibly reopening our parks and resorts across the globe," she wrote. "Our health and safety protocols were developed in consultation with epidemiologists and data scientists, and after considering guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and experts in local government and health agencies. All of our other theme parks both in the United States and around the world have been allowed to open on the strength of our proven ability to operate with responsible health and safety protocols."