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The Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination activity was temporarily disrupted on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 30, 2021. Reports indicate approximately 50 unmasked protesters blocked the entrance.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz explained the demonstrators caused the event officials to close the gates. Unfortunately, thousands were waiting in their vehicles for their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
At 2:21 p.m. PT, Mikel Jollett began tweeting what he was seeing while waiting with his mother for her COVID vaccine. The line had not moved for the last half an hour.
He indicated the gates were closed as the protesters began to walk toward the entrance.
It was at least another half-hour later when the police arrived “in full force.” Jollett’s photo shows a line of five marked cars. The gate was opened, and the demonstrators stepped aside.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, no arrests were made, reports The Washington Post.
Another account came from Adam Michaelson, who was waiting with his 81-year-old mother. He expressed his disappointment with the protesters:
I realize there are people who have been anti-vaxxers for a while but to take this extra step of trying to prevent other people from getting it just seems like a whole new level of evil.
Michaelson added a protester dressed as a police officer was directing cars out of line. He and several others nearly left the site.
No COVID-19 Appointments Canceled Despite 55-Minute Delay
The protest did not deter the program from injecting all of those scheduled for their COVID vaccines on Saturday. Dodger Stadium is the largest vaccination site in the United States — 8,000 people can receive COVID-19 vaccines a day.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s spokesperson, Andrea Garcia, said no appointments were canceled. She added the mayor’s office is “committed to vaccinating Angelenos as quickly and safely as possible.”
In response to the L.A. Times article, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell tweeted, “It’s back open, but…” He added a “facepalm” emoji.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also chimed in with his tweet stating the stadium is back open and that the COVID-19 vaccine program will not be deterred or threatened.
Jollet, whose Twitter profile indicates he is New York Times Bestselling author of “Hollywood Park” and a singer in an unnamed band — Airborne Toxic Event — added his 69-year-old mom was inoculated. “We teared up. We’ve waited a year for this. Get your vaccine.”
Nury Martinez, the L.A. City Council president also weighed in on Twitter. She was appalled about people who were protesting against COVID vaccinations:
If you don’t want the vaccine fine, there are millions of Angelenos that do. 16,000 of your neighbors have died, so get out of the way.
Anti-Vaxxer Protesters Not Alone at COVID Vaccine Site
According to the Los Angeles Times, the protesters were members of anti-vaxxer and far-right groups. The Scamdemic Protest/March was organized on social media with instructions for participants to abstain from wearing anything identifying them as Trump supporters, claiming doing so might take away from their message resonating with the “sheeple” who were there for a COVID vaccine.
One sign read “COVID=SCAM.” According to the signs seen at the protest, the 438,000 coronavirus deaths confirmed and reported by the United States health officials amount to a scam. Another person’s sign shouted in all caps the demand that the lockdown must be ended.
Demonstraters shouted at people waiting in their vehicles. They protested everything — COVID, the vaccine, lockdowns, wearing masks, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, Gov. Newsom, China, and digital contact tracing. Another point of contention for the group is PCR testing, which unlike the rapid antigen COVID-19 test, “detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even those who have no symptoms,” according to Memorial Healthcare in Owosso, Michigan.
Those waiting were subjected to shouts through bullhorns telling them to turn back while they still could and called them lab rats. The protesters also sharing their thought through signs written in all caps:
- “Save your soul, turn back now.”
- “CNN is lying to you.”
- “Recall Gavin Newsom.
- “Take off your mask.”
“This is completely wrong,” German Jaquez commented as he waited in line for a COVID vaccine. As a dentist, he believes being inoculated will reduce the risk of infection for his family and patients. He added:
This is the wrong message. The vaccine is the only way to beat this virus.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Los Angeles Times: Dodger Stadium’s COVID-19 vaccination site temporarily shut down after protesters gather at entrance; by Marisa Gerber, Irfan Khan
The Washington Post: Anti-vaccine protesters temporarily shut down major coronavirus vaccine site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles; by Meryl Kornfield
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Jim Epler’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License