“Protesting is a non-essential activity.”
Not in this country it isn’t.
During a rally to demand re-opening the North Carolina economy that drew more than 100 protesters to downtown Raleigh, some idiot in the police department tweeted that line in response to a query about why the protest violated the Governor’s orders related to the pandemic.
Particularly in these conditions, with civil rights being—we hope and assume—temporarily constrained in the interests of public health,—protests and demonstrations are essential, and I say this as one who finds most protests useless and counter-productive.
The state can prescribe reasonable conditions for a demonstration in an emergency, but banning them entirely is unconstitutional and offensive to our national values and essence.
When the government bans protests and demonstrations, then riots become essential.