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State Capitol demonstration against vaccine mandate Oct. 3 draws crowd, including locals


Photo courtesy Jason Ervin

Demonstrators rallied at the state Capitol in Olympia the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 3 against the state's mandate that health care workers, K-12 workers and state employees be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. Monday, Oct. 4 is the deadline to meet the vaccination window to show full vaccination.

OLYMPIA — More than 2,000 peole, some from Snohomish County, swarmed the steps and grounds of the state Capitol on Sunday, Oct. 3, to protest Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state and health care workers. The mandate takes effect Oct. 18, and state and K-12 education workers who do not comply with the mandate, or get approved exemptions, will lose their jobs.
A sea of flags and signs, ranging from the pious (“Pray for Jay”) to the profane, bobbed above the grass and pavement as people listened to a slate of speakers during the three-hour event.“RN against forced treatments” and “Stop State Medical Propaganda” were just a few of the signs.
Asked what motivated her to attend the rally, Susan Boddy of the small Kitsap County town of Seabeck said, “Freedom.”
Boddy’s companion, Cathy Som, also from Seabeck, said she was a COVID-19 survivor.
“You shouldn’t have to take a vaccine if you have natural immunity,” Som said. “‘One- size-fits-all’ does not work with medicine.”
Tracy Abuhl, who is running for the Stanwood-Camano Island school board, said, “I am here as a voice.” She said she has concerns about elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels when children are required to wear masks at school. “I’m worried about the kids,” she said.
Anita Azariah, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan and vice chair of the Snohomish County Republican Party, said she was there to “fight for (people’s) rights and freedoms,” contrasting that in Pakistan “people don’t have many rights and freedoms,” she said.
State Rep. Jim Walsh (R-Aberdeen), one of the featured speakers, said all three branches of government must be involved in making law.
“Resist unconstitutional mandates that undermine our state and nation,” he said. Walsh said people should not allow themselves to be coerced against their conscience.
Behind Walsh on the Capitol steps, someone held a large sign that said, “I call the shots.” Another sign in the audience read, “Why are Healthcare Workers Refusing the Vaxxine [sic]? Think about that!”
Event speaker Glen Morgan, with a group called “We the Governed,” said the media has “totally corrupted itself” by burying stories and called on state government workers to “start downloading the truth.”
Event speaker Matt Hayward, of the Freedom Foundation, said the rally’s purpose was “to let you know you’re not alone.”
“If everyone stands their ground,” he said, “they can’t fire everyone.”
“Our governor doesn’t know what form of government we have,” Hayward said. “We are defending our republican form of government.”
Hayward said Inslee’s plan is “fear and division.”
“Those who support the vaccine, but not the mandate, should be standing with you,” Hayward said.
“We’re all getting fired, dude,” said a 27-year-old nurse named Jessica. “The boosters are here to stay.”
It’s okay to say ‘no’ to the vaccine, Jessica said. “We’re too young for this.”
Event speaker Marty McClendon, former candidate for lieutenant governor, whose wife is a nurse facing termination after 31 years, said, “We’re being threatened, bribed, and coerced…We are constantly bombarded by messages of fear.”
“Fight like you’re the third monkey on Noah’s Ark and it’s starting to rain,” McClendon said.
Radio talk show host Ari Hoffman said he got the COVID-19 vaccination but, “You shouldn’t have to, if you don’t want to.”
“If they can mandate this, what are they going to mandate next?” he asked.




Photo courtesy Jason Ervin

Demonstrators rallied at the state Capitol in Olympia the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 3 against the state's mandate that health care workers, K-12 workers and state employees be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. Monday, Oct. 4 is the deadline to meet the vaccination window to show full vaccination.

  

 


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