Vaccine mandate protestors come to Snohomish, Lake Stevens
SNOHOMISH — Dozens of people gathered in downtown Snohomish on Sunday, Aug. 15 to protest Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent mandate that many state employees and private health care workers must receive the COVID-19 vaccine or lose their jobs.
“I’m not Anti-Vax, I’m Anti-Force,” read one sign held by a young woman. Another sign read: “I stand for medical freedom. Stop the Mandate.” Some people held signs that said, “My body, my choice.”
Honking horns and shouts of support could be heard blocks away from the gathering at the corner of Avenue D and Second Street. Protesters, ranging in age from young children to senior citizens, waved signs and American flags.
“I support freedom,” said Richard White, 77, of North Seattle. An Air Force veteran and past commander of an American Legion post, White said he heard about the Snohomish protest from a text message on Saturday and decided to attend.
Caitlin O’Neil of Granite Falls said she came to the Snohomish protest “to fight for our first responders.”
About 300 people showed up for a similar protest in Lake Stevens the day before, O’Neil said. “Yesterday was huge. So many people were out honking,” she said.
Many “like-minded people” are coming out to “fight against what we feel is medical tyranny,” O’Neil said.
O’Neil, who said she is self-employed, has friends in the health care system who are “in a panic” because they don’t want to get the vaccine or lose their job.
Justine Trisko of Monroe said she works as a dental assistant in Bellevue. “I am being forced to choose between my body and my job,” she said. “I will be fired.”
Inslee’s vaccination mandate requires health care workers be vaccinated by Oct. 18. Some health care companies have set internal vaccination mandates.
Kirk Parker, a retired teacher from Granite Falls, said at the protest that he taught U.S. history for 37 years and has studied communist nations. He believes the U.S. is now adopting many of the tenets of communism. “I will not give up my freedoms,” he said.
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