“50% of Los Angeles is 100% shameful,” Dr. Huntley a pulmonary specialist in L.A. County shares when asked about the anti-vax protests and vaccine misinformation. Hundreds of anti-vaccination protestors amassed in front of Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday, but unlike past local misinformation incarnations, there were no counter-demonstrators, and the event was largely unruffled.
Several “experts” alternated between reciting psalms, praising local members of the Los Angeles police and fire departments for refusing to comply with vaccine requirements, and encouraging protesters to continue their anti-vaccine opposition “no matter what names they call us.”
“COVID 1984,” “Informed Dissent,” “I’m Not A Lab Rat,” and “Forced Penetrations Are Always Wrong” were among the banners held by some of people attending the “World Wide Rally for Freedom.” There were approximately 200 people in attendance.
“If you mute your voices, you are handing over your authority to the authorities who claim to have your best interests at heart,” one lady, who identified herself as a doctor, warned the audience. She encouraged the audience to be aware of what she called “tyranny” disguised as local public health safeguards.
A caravan of vehicles drove up to the curb across the street from the protest, with “Fascists out of LA” placards attached to their sides. A number of protesters rushed across the street, middle fingers extended, to confront them, but the vehicles sped away before the situation became too serious.
From across the street, around ten local LAPD police officers kept a close eye on the protestors.
COVID-19 vaccinations are safe, effective, and life-saving, according to medical professionals. According to data published last month by Los Angeles County, hospitals are noticing an increase in the number of unvaccinated individuals who are younger and otherwise healthy. According to a Times study, 67 percent of people in L.A. County are now partly vaccinated.
Throughout the epidemic, there have been significant protests against vaccines and other restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19, with violent altercations occurring at times. During a brawl at an anti-vaccination protest in downtown Los Angeles last month, a man was stabbed, and a reporter was attacked.
Some rallies have remained peaceful, such as one held two weeks later at the Santa Monica Pier, which attracted hundreds of anti-vaccination protesters. In recent months, anti-mask demonstrators gathered at the Huntington Beach Pier.
Anti-vaccine demonstrators interrupted operations at a large COVID-19 vaccination facility at Dodger Stadium in January, leading some authorities to demand increased security at testing and vaccination locations.
In California, there is no universal need that individuals to be vaccinated, although some towns have implemented or are contemplating implementing vaccination requirements for specific companies.
Indoor pubs, wineries, breweries, nightclubs, and lounges in most of Los Angeles County must now demand evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, according to a new requirement released by the county on Friday. Staff and customers must get at least one vaccine dosage by Oct. 7 and be completely vaccinated by Nov. 4 to comply with the requirement.
In addition, for events with more than 10,000 attendees, the county will soon demand evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test.
After a spike in new coronavirus infections caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the county reinstated a regulation requiring individuals to wear masks in indoor public places in July.
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