As we at RedState have covered extensively, California’s new anti-freelancing law, AB5, has had devastating “unintended” consequences for tens of thousands of professionals who make a living (or supplement their income) as an independent contractor. Billed as a law to protect people driving for Uber, Lyft, and the like from being exploited, it instead has impacted over 150 industries, including community theaters, court translators and interpreters, court stenographers, writers, wedding planners, photographers, transcriptionists, and more.
While resistance to the law and calls for repeal have grown in frequency and volume, Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s author, remains unfazed. Her attitude toward those who have been harmed hasn’t changed a bit from what we observed in December. In fact, she won’t even admit that people have been harmed.
Needless to say, this attitude infuriates those impacted by AB5. A number of the bill’s opponents showed up Saturday night to an event at which Gonzalez was scheduled to appear, armed with signs and prepared to respectfully show Gonzalez and the crowd that real people and real families are being hurt by her cruel law.
When Gonzalez stood up to speak to the crowd, the group stood quietly with their signs. When she realized what the signs said, her reply was to shout, “F**k Trump!” Alitzah Wiener-Dallas, a member of the Freelancers Against AB5 Facebook group, described the scene:
She confidently walked out and started to speak to the crowd. As she started talking the signs started popping up. I was in full eye view with her and never took my eyes off of her. We were all quietly holding our signs But you can tell she was now scanning the audience trying to read the signs because the flow of her speech started to slow down, when she then yelled out (with kids in the front row) F@@@ Trump (that’s right her immediate go to)
Her crowd yelled and at the moment we then started the chant, Repeal AB5! We got louder and louder. She got quiet. Her crowd was looking, watching all of us. At that moment she had lost control of her stage she was quickly trying to figure out what to say. So after a couple seconds of her saying nothing her next come back was …”Seems like there is a lot of Trump supporters here tonight. We don’t need them in this arena tonight!”
Another attendee, Gloria Rivera, caught it all on video.
After a few minutes, Gonzalez introduced the evening’s main speaker, Julian Castro, and the Repeal AB5 crowd stopped chanting out of respect for Castro. But there were good conversations had with other audience members who were unaware of how devastating the impact has been for so many Californians, and who were unaware that opposition to the law is bipartisan.
As Rivera later tweeted:
I should give props to @LorenaAD80 cause not even Thanksgiving unites Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians & in between as much as the dislike all freelancers affected by #AB5 have for this inane law.#freedom2freelance
Members of the California Legislature are about to find out just how unified and determined their constituents can be when their freedom to choose where, when, and with whom to work is threatened.
More information about AB5, including a list of candidates pledging to repeal AB5, can be found at AB5Facts.com.