LOCAL NEWS

Thousands gather for anti-vaccine mandate rally in Olympia over weekend

Oct 2, 2021, 8:19 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2021, 11:30 am
Vaccine mandate rally...
Thousands of people gathered outside the Capitol in Olympia. (The Jason Rantz Show, KTTH)
(The Jason Rantz Show, KTTH)

Thousands of people gathered outside the state Capitol on Sunday afternoon to send a message to Governor Jay Inslee.

“It’s a rally in support of state workers, everyone who is subject to the governor’s mandate. The message is simple: Stop the mandate,” said organizer Tyler Miller of the group Hazardous Liberty.

The rally was strategically timed.

“Monday is the cutoff date for state workers to get their vaccine if they want to meet the October 18th deadline,” Miller explained.

“Actually, we chose the 3rd for this rally because it’s pretty much if you have not chosen to receive the vaccine by Sunday, you’re not going to get it. You’re not going to make the 18th deadline. I mean, you could, you could theoretically go out the very next day and get it and still make the deadline, and there are some people who have had that extended for them via their unions and separate negotiations. But yeah, this is the make or break date,” he added.

Miller said the mandate to be vaccinated for state workers, health care workers, and a handful of others is government overreach, and that this event was about freedom and the need for the governor to reverse this order.

“Allow for medical freedom, allow for medical choice,” Miller said. “It seems to be a very dissonant message from the governor’s office when he’s imploring people to come out of retirement and federal aid for workers, when at the same time he’s starting to fire people in an industry that is health related. You’ve got nurses, doctors, people whose job it is to know what is best for them and for their patients. And they’re making conscientious professional decisions, and he wants to fire them over that, and that’s just fundamentally wrong.”

Speakers at the event were not just the unvaccinated facing a job loss.

“We have a lot of support from the people who have received the vaccine, whose jobs are going to be impacted by this, who are going to have to work double, triple shifts because Inslee is liquidating up to 30-40% of the workforce on a whim. So other people are going to be severely impacted by that — their co-workers and then the communities that they serve,” Miller explained.

The 30-40% jobs he cites has not been independently confirmed.

“Our goal is to produce change,” Miller said. “I mean, we’re not out there just to spin our wheels. Sometimes people do need to have the solidarity and the cathartic aspect of being with other like-minded people. But we do hope to inspire change. We hope that the media will cover it and will hopefully apply that extra pressure that is needed to get the governor to understand that he has to make a different decision. He has to take this in a different direction.”

Here’s why:

“Because not only are people’s livelihoods at stake, but you’re putting people’s safety at stake,” he said. “You’re talking about prison correction system, firefighters. You can’t just pick people off the street and throw them into a firefighting situation — police officers, first responders of all stripes. These are not jobs that you can just say we’re going to import people or we’re going to call up the National Guard indefinitely and fill these gaps. It doesn’t work that way.”

For Miller, the event was about more than that.

“There are so many people that are angry, frustrated, and affected by this. And, you know, and I got to be careful with how I say this, but people are ready to take further action,” he said. “I refer to it as next steps.”

“We have to find a solution before that happens because if that happens, every single one of us will be affected immeasurably and it won’t be a positive change,” he warned, making clear that outcome is what he hopes to stop with his event – not fuel.

“I would like to think that we can still stop it. And that’s what this rally is really trying to do is, is shock people through sheer numbers back into, ’wait a second, we need to slow down, we need to at least stop the car from heading towards the cliff.’ We can talk about turning it around later, we could have all those other conversations, but we need to stop heading towards the cliff,” Miller explained.

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Thousands gather for anti-vaccine mandate rally in Olympia over weekend