Hundreds of teachers and other protesters marched across New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge on Monday, rallying against the newly enforced vaccine mandate put in place by Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The anti-vaccine mandate rally was organized by a group called “Teachers For Choice” which focuses on the rights of educators and opposes any medical mandates affecting their employment. According to their website, members of Teachers For Choice “are 100% against forced medical mandates for any American to keep their job, especially educators…there are many other medical mandates that are coming soon, and we stand in opposition TO ALL OF THEM!”
Hundreds of New Yorkers attending the rally were seen holding signs and chanting slogans like, “I am not property of the state” and “I call the shots.”
Anger has grown among the city’s educators after de Blasio announced last month, that all Department of Education employees must receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27. The new mandate will apply to all Dept. of Education staffers in the city.
During an interview with PIX11, educator Alycia Morell said, “I came with a bunch of teachers from a school in Whitestone, Queens. We’re here because of the mandates.” Morell added that some of the protesters are indeed vaccinated, but said they’re fighting the mandate and they don’t want the children to have to be mandated for vaccines — so they’re fighting for everybody, not just themselves.
Wade Willett, a recently retired science teacher who attended the rally, said he submitted his retirement on Aug. 8 because of the mayor’s policy. “I had COVID in March of 2020 and I recovered from it, so I felt I’m immune,” Willett told the outlet. “I’m a science teacher and they said, ‘you’re not.’”
The city’s newly enforced mandate doesn’t only affect teachers, but it will also affect a large number of businesses within the metropolis. Beginning this week, places such as restaurants, museums, gyms, movie theaters, concert venues, and many more, will be forced to verify the vaccination status of all who enter.
Controversial vaccine mandates throughout the country have caused an uproar not only with teachers, but with medical personnel, military service members, government employees, and many other professionals who are being threatened to either vaccinate, or lose their jobs.
As for the educators in New York City, it seems they’ve only begun to fight. “Teachers for Choice” said they will file a lawsuit this week against the city for its vaccine mandate.