WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands hit the streets of Washington D.C. this past Sunday in protest against what they are calling “draconian” mandates that are intended to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the attendees of the “Defeat the Mandates” march insisting that they are standing up for their “personal freedom.”
Currently, many cities, businesses, and even the federal government have instituted various strict mandates relating to the pandemic, including mandatory vaccinations, mask wearing, and vaccine passports, citing medical experts who have said these measures have proven effective at preventing – or, barring that, at least mitigating – infections from the virus.
However, the members of the event – who assembled by the Washington Monument on January 23 before marching to the Lincoln Memorial, with many members holding protest signs – feel that mandates have simply gone too far and are encroaching on their rights of Americans, especially when it comes to choosing what to put in their bodies.
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In addition, many of the protestors are claiming that “alternative” treatment methods for COVID – including the “natural immunity” that many individuals have acquired after recovering from exposure – are being silenced.
Before starting their march to the Lincoln Memorial at 12:30 p.m., several speakers called for an end to the mandates, which they said are costing people their jobs, taking away their freedom, and even harming their physical and mental health.
March participant Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, who lost his job at the University of California–Irvine after refusing to comply with its mandatory vaccination policy, said he and his fellow protestors were not anti-vaccine, merely anti-mandate.
“Americans need to recover our right to assembly and our right to public spaces,” he said. “I think the most important thing about this event is that it is a public event. And it’s an opportunity for all of us to be together in solidarity and love for one another, to speak up against coercive mandates, to let doctors be doctors without other entities coming between a doctor’s own medical judgment and caring for his patient.”
An organizer of the march, Will Witt, said that demonstrations such as the “Defeat the Mandates” march are important to show the White House that there are people in the country that are opposed to the measures that the Biden Administration is implementing.
“You’re going to hear a lot of [talk on the left that] this is a big, anti-vax rally, it’s people coming in to deny science,” Witt said. “But this march is about the mandate, and this march is about the draconian measures that we’re seeing all across this country right now, especially in places like D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco.”
In addition to Sunday’s march in D.C., numerous cities around the world reported similar anti-mandate marches this weekend, including Toronto; Brussels, Belgium; London; New Zealand; Meghalaya, India; Australia; Vancouver; Sweden; Portugal; and Shillong, among others.
The event took place as part of the same day World Wide Rally for Freedom happening across more than 40 countries and 150 cities around the world. https://worldwidedemonstration.com