Thousands protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates in DC rally

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:51 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:52 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - Anti-vaccine activists gathered at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday in Washington, D.C. to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Ironically, the nation’s capital city has a vaccine mandate, so protesters who came in from out of town spent the night in Northern Virginia instead.

While organizers estimated that 20,000 people would attend the rally, the crowd appeared to be significantly smaller, CNN reported.

“It’s because of government interference and personal business, and I want to be free to take my kids anywhere in the country,” one protester said.

“It’s freedom, I mean we live in a free country,” another said. “Why can’t we be free? Why are we being told we can’t be free? And being put into mandates we don’t agree with?”

“This really struck a chord with me,” another protester said. “I’ve got three kids. It’s just a matter of protecting our freedoms and our right about, you know, it’s our body.”

The protest featured speeches by several prominent anti-vaccine activists like Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Many protesters wore gear supporting former President Donald Trump and there were few masks in sight.

Washington, D.C. Police say the protest was largely peaceful.

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