Thousands of New Yorkers gathered in Times Square on Saturday to protest COVID shot coercion by the Biden administration, New York City government, and private companies.
— Elad Eliahu (@elaadeliahu) October 16, 2021
New York is home to some of the strictest vaccine mandates in the nation. On top of the state’s medical coercion of state workers, health-care workers, and teachers, the city is forcing businesses to require verified “vaccine passports” in exchange for goods and services.
“Businesses that do not comply with this policy will be subject to fines,” the NYC Department of Health warns on its website.
These mandates have extended far beyond the skyscrapers in NYC, private companies, restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters into private homes. Earlier this month, a New York City judge ruled that a father must get vaccinated or be subject to regular COVID-19 testing if he wanted to maintain his every other weekend in-person visits with his three-year-old daughter. Democrat NYC mayor nominee Eric Adams also recently vowed to mandate the COVID vaccine for all public school students if he is elected.
‘Let My People Go’
NYC citizens are fed up with this prolonged bullying. While some stay quiet in hopes they won’t lose their families, jobs, or access to activities, many are risking it all to stand up for personal liberty and the freedom to live their lives as they please.
John Matland is just one of the many health-care workers in New York who took issue with the government and Staten Island University Hospital South telling him what to put in his body.
“I wasn’t going to budge. So what I did was I started to organize,” Matland told The Federalist.
Matland quickly gained support from colleagues who felt it was unfair for the hospital to try to force them into medical choices they believe should be private. He participated in rallies and even a protest with more than 100 people outside of the hospital on his lunch. But even after devoting 15 years of his life to working as a CAT scan tech including during the height of the pandemic, Matland was terminated when he could not prove that he had received the vaccine by his hospital’s deadline.
New York’s tyranny has pushed some to leave the blue concrete jungles they once loved for Republican-controlled states such as Florida and Texas, where government leaders are working to protect personal freedom in medicine. Others such as Rachel Maniscalco, a schoolteacher forced out of her job due to declining a COVID shot, however, want to “stay and fight.”
“I’ve realized that I don’t want to run away from the place where I was born and raised. Also, I am needed here right now,” Maniscalco said.
Maniscalco is just one of the many New York teachers who chose to sacrifice her career and membership in the United Federation of Teachers in exchange for speaking out against mandatory vaccinations. What started as her staunch refusal to cave to her Staten Island school’s vaccine requirement per the government’s orders quickly turned into a legal application for injunctive relief. When that was denied by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Maniscalco, who worked in her school through most of the pandemic pregnant, plowed through and continued the legal fight against the vax mandate.
“I do understand that there’s a lot of fear. And for me, I kind of thought, ‘Well, I’m never getting this. I know where my boundary is. So the only thing to do at this point is to fight,'” Maniscalco said.
Now, Maniscalco, often joined by her infant daughter, uses her free time to speak rallies by Teachers For Choice and New York Freedom Rally to encourage others that they shouldn’t comply if they aren’t comfortable. It’s a sacrifice, but it’s one she’s willing to make.
“I can’t go inside to a restaurant and I can’t go to a bar and I can’t go into a gym and there’s so many things that I can’t do, which I’m glad to forego for the cause. I don’t want to go anywhere that’s going to be enforcing this. But, you know, a lot of my friends have and what I tried to do is just to say, ‘I’m not judging.’ I do understand that people are being forced to comply. I understand it completely. I think it’s horrendous,'” Maniscalco said. “I do have a husband. He doesn’t make a ton of money so we’re kind of blowing through our savings but he understands how important this is.”
Courts have delivered some small victories to New Yorkers weary of their state’s COVID-19 overreach. Last week, a federal judge ruled that the state must allow health-care employers to consider religious exemptions for workers even though the state has tried to pressure companies against it.
“There is no adequate explanation from defendants about why the ‘reasonable accommodation’ that must be extended to a medically exempt health care worker under 2.61 could not similarly be extended to a health-care worker with a sincere religious objection,” Judge David Hurd of Utica wrote.
Teachers, however, were not awarded the same treatment from a federal judge in Manhattan last week. That judge denied at least 10 educators’ requests for the court to block enforcement of New York City’s COVID vaccine mandate.
“Plaintiffs have not shown they are entitled to this extraordinary remedy,” Judge Valerie Caproni said. She also downplayed the plaintiffs’ concerns that the city is “openly hostile” towards religion.
Jo Rose, a teacher’s assistant in the Bronx who is also heavily involved with the New York Freedom Rally, was terminated from her job earlier this month over the issue. Multiple teachers expressed discomfort with the vaccine mandate and Sept. 27 deadline from the Department of Education, but by the time a temporary injunction pushed the shot deadline back to Oct. 1, Rose said she was just one of the four other staff members at her school who didn’t cave to the pressure.
“I feel like I was being discarded and then I had to explain to the children who are being brainwashed into thinking, like, if you don’t get vaccinated, you’re a bad person, that you’re dirty … And I explained to them that I can’t be coerced into doing something that the government is making me do,” Rose told The Federalist. “… I’d rather lose my job than to be coerced into getting a vaccine that is experimental that I don’t want in my body. So it was very emotional for me. I left and I didn’t want to cry in front of the kids but I cried once I walked out of school because I have been in that particular school for three years.”
Rose said that while her situation is unfortunate and far too prolific in the city, she is encouraged by the number of people willing to publicly oppose the mandates.
“The positive change is that now more people are aware and even within our protest, we have a lot of people that are vaccinated… and to pull them to see and understand that we need to be together whether you’re vaccinated or not,” Rose said.
She also said many people are realizing the role the corrupt corporate media has played in aiding vaccine coercion.
“The media has many believing that they have the higher authority and whatever they say it’s 100 percent true and that we cannot ask any questions outside of their little television,” Rose said. “…They’re not there to inform the public, they’re there to manipulate the public. They should be unbiased. You’re supposed to only report. Your job isn’t supposed to be taking sides of anything or making one group look bad or things of that nature… Also when it comes to the vaccines, they don’t report any side effects.”