Dodger Stadium momentarily closed its vaccination site after dozens of “anti-vax” protesters made their way toward the Academy Rd. entrance, Saturday.
The protesters from a group called “Shop Mask Free Los Angeles,” marched near the entrance around 2 p.m., holding signs with phrases such as, “turn back now,” “COVID-19 equals deception” and “Mark of the beast ahead.”
Protester Jairo Rodriguez told L.A. Weekly the protest was planned for a week and they had no intention to have the site shut down.
“We were trying to raise awareness—wake people up and let people know it’s OK and they don’t need to get vaccinated,” Rodriguez said. “We were not trying to shut down the whole vaccination center, that was just a plus. They could have kept going and we could have just held our signs.”
Rodriguez added that there are currently no further protests planned at the stadium.
We’re at the mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium to get my mom the vaccine. The anti–vax protestors have approached the entrance to the site. The LAPD have now closed the gate. We have been sitting here for about half an hour. Nobody is moving. pic.twitter.com/GrJPA5wrqx
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) January 30, 2021
While multiple people in line said the protest caused a prolonged halt of at least 30 minutes and several social media posts showed the stadium’s gates being closed off, LAPD stated there were no gate closures.
“We are aware of social media posts referring to protestors showing up at the Dodger Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site,” LAPD said in a statement. “Preliminary reports are that protestors remained peaceful. The LAPD did NOT close the gates, and per LA City Fire, all scheduled vaccines will be delivered.”
After lines started moving again, Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, “We will not be deterred or threatened. Dodger Stadium is back up and running.”
Dodger Stadium is currently the largest vaccination site in the U.S., with the capability of administering up to 12,000 doses per day.