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‘We Are Much More Than A Vaccine’: Demonstrators Make Their Voices Heard at ‘Defeat the Mandates’ Protest

"Somos mucho más que una vacuna": testimonios de manifestantes en protesta Defeat the Mandates

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El American was present at the demonstration against facemask and vaccine mandates related to COVID, called Defeat the Mandates in Los Angeles, California, where hundreds of citizens gathered in a peaceful protest to demand respect for their medical freedom.

Our correspondent, Anthony Cabassa, had the opportunity to talk with participants at the event. One of them was Dr. Michael Huang, candidate for California Senate District 6, who said he had handed out thousands of medical exemptions to “frontline workers” who refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Huang condemned ten “really horrible” laws that were passed in California. “Few of them have been removed,” says Huang, in reference to these laws which are “designed to limit” freedom of speech and medical freedom.

Latina mother Carina Powers, the founder of the Latinos for Medical Freedom movement, was also present at the event and spoke with Anthony Cabassa about her organization’s intentions.

“I started the movement in 2019 because we saw the need in our communities, because there is no information in Spanish about informed consent or medical autonomy,” Powers told El American. “They have some documents, but they’ve cut them, and they’ve been known to omit certain information, which doesn’t give them [Spanish speakers] adequate information so they can make their decisions.”

Both Powers and her daughter, according to her testimony, developed health conditions from the COVID-19 vaccination and, she says, not all Hispanics are financially able to afford the consequences.

A group of high school students also spoke with Anthony Cabassa about their motivations for attending the event. Sasha Quintanilla decided to protest because her school suspended her for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I was expelled and I feel my freedoms were violated,” Quintanilla said. His classmate added that they were “forced” to take independent studies, away from their classmates and teachers.

“It’s important for kids to understand that they didn’t just refuse to take a vaccine, they refused to let the school violate their rights,” added a third student. “Standing up for your rights is something you will never regret and I think we students are much more than a vaccine.”

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