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Elon Musk restarts Tesla plant in defiance of lockdown, says he'll 'be on the line with everyone else'

'If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me'

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Billionaire Elon Musk announced Monday that Tesla would resume production in Alameda County, California, in defiance of local orders dictating a continued lockdown on manufacturing over coronavirus concerns.

The entrepreneur, who has been in a feud with officials for trying to keep Tesla shut down, said he would be joining the production line himself and told authorities, "If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me."

What are the details?

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted some restrictions of his statewide lockdown to allow for retail and manufacturing to resume on Friday. But Alameda County, where Tesla's headquarters is located, continued its lockdown and its health officer reportedly told Tesla it could not reopen on Friday as Musk had planned.

Musk fired back over the decision, filing a lawsuit against the county and vowing to move Tesla's headquarters out of California to "Texas/Nevada immediately."

On Monday, Musk declared on Twitter, "Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me."

Musk noted that the state had already given the green light for manufacturing to resume, "but an unelected official illegally overrode."

He added, "All other auto companies in U.S. are approved to resume. Only Tesla has been singled out. This is super messed up!"

According to KPIX-TV, Tesla employees were seen filing in and out of the company's Alameda County plant before dawn on Monday, during a shift change. The outlet noted that "Tesla employs at least 14,000 workers in the region."

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