NEW YORK—Amid record-cold temperatures, hundreds gathered in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Tuesday to protest against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, imploring Mayor Eric Adams to allow city workers who were fired for not taking the jabs to be rehired. Adams recently granted vaccination exemption for the city’s athletes and performers.
“We are not anti-vaxxers, we are opposed to the mandate and we believe that every person has the right to medical privacy and choice. We currently have lawsuits in place to put an end to the unethical mandates that are currently threatening our livelihoods,” said an FDNY member who was born and raised in a multiracial immigrant family.
On March 26, Adams denied accusations of being lobbied by economic groups to nullify the mandate for athletes.
New York City Council member Vickie Paladino, a Republican representing Queens, organized the rally.
Paladino said she hopes Adams will allow “the average Jane and Joe” who didn’t get vaccinated to get their jobs back.
Bravest For Choice organizer Matt Connor, an FDNY member, told The Epoch Times: “In the interests of economic opportunity and equity, New York City has recently provided exemptions from mandated COVID-19 vaccines for high level-performers in the arenas of professional sport and the arts, those of us in the fire service are seeking an extension of those same exemptions so that we can return to the performance of our duties to protect life and property in this great city. The ball is in the city’s court.”
Former NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa was also present.
“[I’m] just here to support the workers, as I did all during the mayoral campaign. The mayor needs to roll back all the mandates now,” Sliwa told The Epoch Times.
“We feel that every individual should have a choice to get vaccinated or not. We should have been given the option for weekly testing in the event that you did not want to get the mandate. There are state workers like those in the legislative and the executive branch who are not mandated,” said a vaccinated member of the New York State Court Officers Association who spoke at the protest.
“We worked tirelessly to keep the judicial system running, and it never stopped. Terminating us now will only slow down the judicial process. Our state deserves to have fair and just courthouses. By terminating court employees, the justice system will be negatively affected. We urge all politicians to stop this mandate.”