Hundreds of current and former teachers, parents, school staffers, and others marched across New York City's Brooklyn Bridge on Monday to protest vaccine mandates.
Teachers for Choice organized the demonstration in Foley Square to condemn the vaccine mandates, which the organization claims force teachers either to get vaccinated or lose their jobs.
Marching from the Brooklyn Pier and across the Brooklyn Bridge, protesters carried posters with messages including, "Last years heroes, this years unemployed" and "I call the shots."
The protesters can be heard chanting a slur directed toward President Joe Biden in a video posted to Twitter.
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"I have lived and worked in this city as a civil servant for 28 years of my life," Amy Carroll, a retired teacher, told PIX11. "I should be able to make my own health decisions and make a decision that doesn't affect my employment, that doesn't affect my right to go to a restaurant, or a Broadway play, a museum."
Alycia Morell, an educator, said she and others came to protect children from the mandates.
"We're here because of the mandates. Some of us are even vaccinated, but we're fighting the mandate, and we don't want the children to have to be mandated for vaccines — so, we're fighting for everybody, not just ourselves," she said.
LIVE: NEW YORK “TEACHERS FOR CHOICE” PROTEST Hundreds of teachers, workers, unionists, students & citizens gather in NYC in protest of mandatory Covid vaccines https://t.co/GtAls7Apm0
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Teachers for Choice will reportedly file suit against New York City over Mayor Bill de Blasio's August order that all Department of Education employees must have received the vaccine by Sept. 27.
Wade Willett, a former science teacher, said he does not trust de Blasio or his mandate.
"I submitted my retirement on Aug. 8 because of de Blasio," said Willett. "I had COVID in March of 2020 and I recovered from it, so I felt I'm immune. I'm a science teacher, and they said, 'You're not.'"
The state has imposed some of the most stringent protocols aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. In addition to New York City requiring vaccinations for teachers, the city has mandated proof of vaccination for entry into restaurants and gyms.
New York has had more than 2.2 million cases of COVID-19, and 61.4% of the state's population is fully vaccinated against the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
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Original Author: Luke Gentile
Original Location: Teachers march through New York City to protest vaccine mandates