“New York Unions for Choice” hosted a large rally protesting Biden, former New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Medical Mandates at City Hall in Manhattan on Wednesday.
The New York City Department of Education has mandated the vaccine for all teachers,” said event organizer Michael Kane. “Our union, the United Federation of Teachers, have not come to our aid and rolled over. That is why I am announcing today that I am leaving my union.”
The protest, described to be the largest protest of rank-and-file union members in NYC History, had thousands of attendees- from teachers, firefighters, nurses, healthcare workers, EMTs, EMS, police, detectives, sanitation, postal workers and federal workers who reject what they perceive to be a looming Covid-19 vaccine mandate now threatening their unions and freedom of choice.
Also in heavy attendance were NYC small business owners frustrated that the government is now demanding they police their own patrons.
New York City is the first major city in the United States to require proof of vaccination for indoor activities, also known as a “vaccine passport”. The new “Key to NYC” mandate requires patrons of indoor dining, fitness, entertainment, and performances to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Employees at these establishments must also be vaccinated. There are no exceptions to this mandate, such as a negative COVID-19 test.
“Bill DeBlasio is a lame duck Mayor who is taking one last gasp power grab. His final act is literally designed to destroy small business owners and pit them against their customers,” said NYC Comptroller Candidate John Tabacco. “Asking small business owners to become police is class warfare and New Yorkers will not comply.”
Anti-mandate rallies have been a regular fixture in New York City for the past ten months, but this protest marks the largest to date as the mandatory vaccine mandate took effect as of August 17th and will be fully enforced as of September 13th.
“The rest of the country has been waiting for New York to come alive!” said rally speaker Kevin Jenkins in response to the large crowd reaching far down Broadway and Park Row.
“I have lived in this city my entire life,” said attendee Jessica Marks. “This is dystopia to me. It is medial discrimination and segregation. I can’t imagine what is coming next if we do not fight to have this reversed.”
Some New Yorkers worry that it is too late.
“We tried to warn people for months now,” said regular rally goer Tina Ryan. “Now they believe us. I am hoping the rest of the country wakes up and learns a lesson from what happened here in NYC. If you sleep on your government, they will become tyrannical. If this can happen in New York, it can happen anywhere.”
Many New Yorkers are hopeful that a lawsuit brought on by a group of attorneys against the city on behalf of small business owners who do not want to comply with the vaccine passport mandate will bring relief.
“We seek to stop these mandates dead in their tracks,” said attorneys Mark Fonte and Lou Gelormino.
The NYC Attorneys have been active since last year’s lockdowns in fighting mandates they believe to be unconstitutional. They previously sued the NYC Mayor and won concessions to restore indoor dinning and hybrid learning in schools. They just filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of independent restaurant owners, gyms, salons, and small businesses seeking Injunctive Relief. They will be heard in NY State Supreme Court on September 3rd.
“We are eager to again take on this fight against government overreach. We expect to stop these arbitrary and capricious mandates in their tracks,” said Fonte and Gelormino.
A stand out feature of the rally was the mix of Conservative, Republican, Independent, Democrat and Progressive attendees and speakers at the event. A speaker who said he was a Socialist even spoke to the audience but was booed on the stage by the crowd. He was quickly saved by rally organize Michael Kane.
“I am so proud of all my Republican, Democrat, Independent, Conservative and Progressive brothers and sisters who came together today in unity to fight for the same cause,” said Kane. “No vaccine mandates in the city of New York!”
New Yorkers vow to continue to take action. “There will be a protest every single Monday at 12PM noon outside of City Hall until the mandate is rescinded,” said protest organizers from the organization “New York Freedom Rally”. Please check our social media for updates @NewYorkFreedomRally on Instagram.”
September 13th will be the next large-scale event in New York City, according to Kane. “Stay tuned to www.TeachersForChoice.org for all protest updates,” said Kane. “We won’t stop fighting.”
Cara Castronuova is a co-Founder of C.A.P.P. (Citizens Against Political Persecution), Founder of Liberate New York, Activist, 2-Time Boxing Champion, Celebrity Fitness Trainer, and Television Personality. You can follow her on TG, Twitter, and FB @CaraCastronuova. For more information visit C.A.P.P. at www.CitizensAPP.us.