Hundreds Rally Against Mask and Vaccine Mandates Outside the State House

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Around 500 people rallied in front of the State House Friday, demanding an end to mask and vaccine mandates in Massachusetts.

Chants of 'freedom' and 'USA' broke out as speakers argued that masks and vaccine mandates are violating constitutional rights and ruining lives. Veteran Bridgewater Corrections Officer Melissa George told the crowd she's forced to choose between her job and a shot she doesn't want.

"We were considered essential employees. Now we are considered nothing but disposable," George said.

"This mandate is effecting me and my children in a terrible way. I'm not sleeping; I'm constantly anxious. I feel depressed and defeated, exactly the way they want us to feel. So many of my coworkers feel the exact same way that I do."

After her speech, George told WBZ's Kendall Buhl she does intend to leave her job rather than meet the October 17th vaccination deadline. But activists are hoping to prevent that mandate and others from taking effect in the first place.

Friday's protest blocking traffic on Beacon Hill is part of the push to pressure lawmakers into reversing mandates, but organizers say it's just a start.

"This is a great energetic crowd and it feels good, but tomorrow we're all going back to our communities and dealing with the same problems we've had yesterday," said Roland, an organizer with a group called 'Freedom Dog.' "We've got to make change."

Speakers often encouraged the listeners to enlist as grassroots organizers and spread the anti-mandate sentiment expressed so vocally outside the statehouse across the state.

WBZ's Kendall Buhl (@WBZKendall) was at the rally:

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