On Friday, Oct. 4 locals from several Eastern Sierra communites gathered at the east gate of Yosemite National Park and held a peaceful protest showing their outrage at the shutdown of the country’s national parks. Local news personality Stacey Powells led the charge.
The event was called Occupy Yosemite and in addition to being covered by most of the local media outlets, the event also gathered national attention from the LA Times, Outside Magazine, The Wilderness Society, KCET and The Mariposa Gazette.
The protestors were met at the east gate by law enforcement from Yosemite who were only too happy to help get the word out that these shutdowns are hurting everyone. After telling the group where to park (inside the park) they told them they should protest just outside th east gate right next to the Caltrans sign which blinked: “Park closed due to government shutdown.”
Many of the protesters held handmade signs which read: “Parks are for people, not politics” and “Yosemite held hostage.”
Hundreds of cars drove into and out of the gate and many stopped to take pictures with the protestors.
Two men from Scotland and a family from Australia told stories of saving for years for their national park vacations only to be turned away at the gates. A husband and wife from Spain said that they lost over $10,000 and their trip was ruined because of these shutdowns.
Mono County supervisor Byng Hunt and his wife, Joanne also joined the protestors at the east gate. –Press Release