NEW YORK—Thousands of people protested Monday in New York City to protest the stringent COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Huge groups estimated to number in the thousands gathered in Foley Square in the borough of Manhattan and later walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.
His message: The city’s vaccine mandate for Education Department employees violates their independence.
“You should have the right to choose whatever you do with your body,” Ricardo Alexander, a public school math and physics teacher, told Rally.
Alexander and fellow teachers were joined by civil rights attorney, Bill Pepitone, a conservative candidate for mayor of New York City, and My Kids, My Choice founder Rita Palma, among others.
Pepitone recounted the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, attempting to link that event to what is now unfolding.
“Terrorists tried to take away our freedom through fear and intimidation. … we fought back. Now our elected officials… are trying to snatch our freedom through fear and intimidation. Twenty years later, we say, ‘Hell no,'” he told the crowd.
Michael Caine, a New York City teacher who helped organize the protests with the Teachers for Choice group, told The Epoch Times in a recent interview that he views the mandate as government overreach and illegal. .
“We are not anti-vaccine. We are just pro-choice,” he said.
One of the featured speakers was Dale Bigtree, host of The High Wire podcast. He told The Epoch Times: “It’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever seen. It’s going to be all over the country.
“The government of the United States that needs to do this for us to win is pressuring us to be the civil and freedom fighters we need to maintain the brilliance of this country.”
Video footage later showed the crowd walking across the Brooklyn Bridge as they chanted “[Expletive] Biden,” referring to President Joe Biden, who recently announced several vaccine mandates.
All New York City teachers must provide proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since September 27 under the city’s vaccine mandate.
Those who did not comply were basically told they would be fired. An arbitrator, however, ruled last week that teachers who have been granted religious or medical exemptions should be retained and assigned to non-classroom assignments.
About 148,000 people work for the city’s Department of Education.
The decision was a victory for the United Federation of Teachers, a teachers’ union, but Kane said it didn’t go far enough.
Teachers for Choice plans to soon file lawsuits on behalf of teachers and other city employees in federal court against Mandate and others like it.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times