WASHINGTON, D.C.—Thousands of demonstrators gathered on the National Mall for a “Defeat the Mandates” rally this past Sunday to make their case against both private and public vaccination requirements—though that case more often than not rested on the alleged dangers and ineffectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines themselves.
A diverse group of doctors and musicians, as well as professional anti-vaccine activists, claimed that Big Pharma has waged a war against alternative COVID-19 treatment options, with the aid of the media and the medical establishment. They claim that freedoms of religion and expression as well as liberty in general have been the victims.
J.P. Sears (a comedian and YouTuber who emceed this rally from the Lincoln Memorial’s steps) said, “Mandates don’t mix with freedom.”[They say]So freedom can return, mandates have been put in place. It’s not something I believe.
His words were amplified through batteries of speakers, and then displayed on large Jumbotron screens. They resonated instantly with roughly 10,000 people who had travelled long distances to hear them.
The organizers claimed that their rally would unite people regardless of race, religion or vaccination status. But the rally was attended by an overwhelming number of right-leaning people.
You can’t swing an unvaccinated cat and not hit a sign or flag for “Trump 2024”. Regularly, chants of “fuck Joe Biden”, “lock him up”, and other slang (usually sparked onstage by mentions of Bill Gates/White House COVID-19 advisor Anthony Fauci), broke out.
It was evident that there were still many people from different backgrounds. The majority of the demonstrators were white, although not exclusively. It was much more children-friendly than the Proud Boys shirts wearing masked men. A few placards that seemed to be inspired by the East, encouraging people to follow their instincts in regards vaccines and warning them about government wars on religions were added alongside Christian-themed signage.
People in the crowd were not partisan, but skepticism about the vaccines was their constant concern.
“It is not a vaccine. It is genetic modification. No long-term studies are possible. One Connecticut man stated that it was wrong to give this kind of treatment to children. Reason.
“I’ve done my research. Another man, who had traveled from Philadelphia and offered to buy me pre-rolled marijuana for $10 per pop, said that he did his research. I believe that what is going on in the world today is medical tyranny. I believe in prompt treatment. Today, even today there are treatments that work that aren’t currently being offered.
The official speakers of the event gave generous support to these views.
Heterodox doctors delivered the first hour’s remarks. They generally claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are far more harmful and less effective than other drugs that can be used to treat the disease, such as ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.
Robert Malone, who was the first to conduct research on mRNA vaccinations, is the group’s most famous speaker. Malone has since become a prominent skeptic of the technology—which was used to develop the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
“The science has been settled on the genetic COVID vaccinations. They don’t work. These vaccines are not 100% safe,” Malone stated to rallygoers. These genetic vaccines could cause harm to your child.
(Read ReasonRon Bailey from the University of Michigan discusses how COVID-19 vaccines can keep people out the hospital or the morgue.
Talks about the risks of vaccinations were juxtaposed to discussions on coercion that was used to make them compulsory for the public. This led to some amusing, sometimes tasteless historical parallels.
Many people compared Sunday’s event to Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 speech at Lincoln Memorial, where he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was the keynote speaker and concluded his comments about the dangers posed by the COVID-19 vaccins as well as the technological surveillance that is being used to push them upon people. This included a now viral reference to Nazi Germany.
He stated, “Even Hitler’s Germany could you cross the Alps and Switzerland, you could hide under the attic like Anne Frank,” which he contrasted with the present, where 5G internet will “harvest our information and control our behavior.”
Many in attendance echoed these comparisons with signs and chants that described vaccines “Tuskegee 2.0”, and “Nuremberg 2.0.”
Sunday’s participants were less harsh in their critiques of vaccine mandates. A D.C. resident was also wearing a shirt featuring Murray Rothbard’s Austrian economist on it. I asked him if he had been vaccinated and if he thought mandates were a worrying government overreach.
It’s absurd, I think. It’s absurd. I know of friends who have not been fully vaccinated. “It does seem to be a stratified and two-tiered social system,” he stated about D.C.’s requirement that all indoor venues (bars, restaurants, cafés, gyms) require proof of vaccination. It is not segregation, but I won’t call it that. It is, however, an objectively-caste-based system.
It was not aired by many speakers at the rally. It is most likely at the disadvantage of protesters.
At Sunday’s rally, all the radicalism and cowardice was largely meant to mask the fact that the majority of Americans have not yet adopted vaccine passports. While the White House has been issuing vaccine mandates, federal courts have been busy restraining most of them.
This is probably because most Americans and the majority U.S. Supreme Court Justices have been replaying Joe Rogan’s Malone-esque appearance on repeat.
It seems that the majority of Americans have settled on vaccines as a valuable (and perhaps even essential) protection against COVID-19. However, the government’s requirement to require people to show their vaccination card in order for them be able grab a drink or a coffee is excessive government intervention.
It’s a sentiment that may resonate even with residents in large liberal cities, where vaccination passport systems are implemented. Due to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s vaccination mandate, approximately 25% of D.C.’s 12+ residents aren’t fully vaccinated. They will not be allowed to eat at restaurants or visit the gym after February 15. Bowser’s current order requires that you show one proof to prove your vaccination.
Kennedy makes a valid point. He says these passport systems can transform every right into privileges that are subject to arbitrary government orders. Malone is also correct when he says that COVID-19 vaccines come with risks and there should be a choice. People who have suffered from severe side effects due to vaccinations spoke out in support of this notion.
These kernels of reason, however, are obscured by broadsides that oppose the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations in general and make comparisons with Nazi Germany.
This also hides the fact that these vaccination passport systems are ineffective security theatre, which many businesses only halfheartedly follow here in D.C.
So, for example, when I left Sunday’s rally, a staff member approached me and asked me to see my proof of vaccination. A staff member approached me as I was sat down to my cup of coffee and asked for my proof.
She shrugged when I told her it was my dead cell phone and then walked off. She should have asked me to go if I was more serious about following D.C.’s mandate to get vaccinated, but it wasn’t worth her time.
Despite this less-than-perfect enforcement, new COVID-19 cases reported in D.C.—which were already falling prior to the city’s mandate going into effect—continue to collapse. Also, the short increase in COVID-19-related deaths in District is fading.
This reality could be seen by reasonable people and concluded that vaccine mandates were a restriction of liberty, which comes with very little benefit for public health. It doesn’t matter how totalitarian 5G internet might be to think that.
Many speakers at Sunday’s rally gave the impression you do.