Thousands of people gathered outside Los Angeles City Hall on Monday to protest the city’s requirement that all city employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 18.
As the disease proceeds to spread and the more delta version spreads, the vaccine requirements for city workers are intended to boost vaccination rates and prevent another catastrophic COVID-19 outbreak.
The event, called “A March for Freedom,” was organized by the group Firemen 4 Freedom, and will be attended by firefighters, police officers, electrical workers, sanitation workers, and local government employees, according to the group.
The demonstration was attended by retried LAPD Detective Moses Castillo.
“I’m here to express solidarity for the men and women in law enforcement, firefighters, sanitation workers… who are here not so much against getting vaccinated, or the vaccine, but against being forced to be vaccinated by our local government,” Castillo added.
Last week, the Biden administration declared that Americans working for organizations with 100 or more workers must be completely vaccinated by Jan. 4 or get your virus checked on a weekly basis. Public workers who haven’t been immunized by December 18 “may expect to lose their job,” according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The Los Angeles City Council enacted an ordinance in August mandating all city workers to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medical or religious exemptions are allowed. The deadline for employees in Los Angeles was originally scheduled for a later date, but the city council decided to extend it to allow unvaccinated workers more time to comply.
The mandate, according to the ordinance, is intended to safeguard the city’s workers and the public it serves from COVID-19, which was responsible for 26,750 fatalities in the county.
Last Monday, the Los Angeles fire-fighters union spoke out against the city’s demand, arguing that officials should give firemen the option of getting the injection or being tested regularly.
According to the Los Angeles Times, members of the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City President Freddy Escobar cautioned that the L.A. Fire Department is already experiencing manpower shortages that might increase as a result of the requirement.
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