Florida attorney Jeff Childers left his for-profit clients to represent a group of City of Gainesville employees facing termination because of refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Now, after a major victory last week in his case, representing 250 Gainesville workers, and in an appeal in June to end the mask mandate in his county, lawyers around the country are seeking help in similar cases. turning to them.
Childers is using the momentum to form a coalition of lawyers from across the country interested in a similar fight over mask and vaccine mandates and whatever comes next in the fight to protect freedoms, he says. Huh.
A few weeks ago, he reached out to two dozen lawyers who had shown promise as “freedom fighters”. Those who accepted his invitation for a private chat on the encrypted instant messaging platform started inviting others enthusiastically. The group now includes 40 of “some of the biggest names in the country,” he says.
By Sunday afternoon, as Childers was celebrating the victory with Gainesville police, firefighters, linemen, and more, there was a spirited discussion over the chat, with files flying back and forth between litigants.
That’s the part that excites him. As he and other lawyers share ideas, strategies, and files on their conversation thread, “it increases the velocity,” he says.
One of the attorneys was planning to file a lawsuit the next day to prevent Orange County, Florida, workers from being disciplined for refusing to take vaccines.
Another followed Childers’ lead in a successful case fighting the mask mandate, and a case filed in Jacksonville, Florida opposing mandatory masking in Duval County public schools.
Others were polishing a case in Fulton County, Georgia, to take down a local school board’s policy requiring all students and teachers to wear masks.
Yet another in Florida shared that the Clearwater City Commission had dropped plans to discuss mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees from its upcoming agenda.
As a result of his win against the city of Gainesville, “all municipalities in Florida are recalculating,” Childers said. “I think we beat this in Florida.”
A judge in Gainesville blocked the city’s vaccine mandate on September 22.
Childers knew the victory was “history-making.” But it’s not over, he warned employees, who gathered at a local restaurant on September 26 to hear his update before celebrating.
In his 20s with the Gainesville Police Department, School Resource Officer James Hinson raised the winning glass. He had planned to stay with the force until he lasted 25 years. But the vaccine mandate has good cops retiring or leaving for other jobs, he said. He is eligible to retire in 10 months. And then, he sighed, “I’m gone.”
He objected to getting the vaccine because he already had COVID-19.
Gainesville’s non-vaccinated employees don’t know what they’ll have to do, now that a judge’s injunction means the city can’t fire them as planned on October 1.
As of Monday, five days after the judge’s decision to block the vaccination-or-terminate directive in Gainesville, details had not been determined. Municipal commissioners said they wanted inputs from the unions before planning.
“The City of Gainesville will continue to strongly encourage our employees to get vaccinated as we work to improve vaccination rates among our employees through education and encouragement,” said city spokeswoman Rosanna Pasaniti.
“We recognize the reality of vaccine hesitancy and vaccine disinformation, but agree with public health experts that vaccination is critical in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The city leaders will continue to meet with union leaders before presenting the employee vaccination plan to the commission as directed.”
He said a meeting between city officials and officials with the Communications Workers of America union was to take place on Monday. It was not clear when other unions would join the talks.
But such things bother children. And that’s why he’s determined to use what he’s learned to help save time for other lawyers around the country as they fight similar fights.
“I feel like employees are being treated like farm animals,” he said. “The city is treating its employees like its own property. A farmer can vaccinate his animals because they are actually his property. The city was saying, ‘Do it, or you’re out of the herd.'”
“These employees are free citizens. The city works for them; He has taken it backwards. “
And it’s not like he’s against vaccines, he says.
“When it comes to taking the shot or not, I’m a pro,” he said. “But I can’t see anyone being bullied. Today I got bruises because of a bully and his target.”
On Sunday, Childers urged City of Gainesville employees to stay organized.
“My first objective was to save your jobs,” he said. “Now, you have speed.”
He urged employees to launch an initiative to recall Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe and any other politicians who restrict their freedom.
“They don’t share our values,” he said. “They’re not going to follow us until we replace them.”
Po responded in a prepared statement, “I will continue to faithfully perform the duties of my office. The greatest of these responsibilities is to protect the health and safety of our community builders and the neighbors they serve. I Committed to that sacred duty.”
Next, Childers plans to confront the Alachua County school board, urging members to sack the school superintendent who violated the Florida governor’s prohibition on forcibly wearing masks in public schools.
“We don’t have to go sideways with the state (in Alachua County),” Childers said, alluding to the government’s warning. Ron DeSantis said that school districts that force the wearing of masks will face financial penalties. “It’s not helping the children of Alachua.”
As her group grows, Childers hopes lawyers will lay down arms to fight and fix what she sees as major systemic problems nationwide, one trial at a time.
Now, the more lawyers jump into the fight, the better.
“We all need to be pulled in the same direction,” he said. “We have to stop playing Whac-A-Mole and playing defense, and we have to take offense. The goal is to save America.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times