A man was stabbed during a COVID-19 vaccine mandate protest, as groups engaged in physical altercations outside of Los Angeles City Hall Saturday.
Angelenos rallied against Los Angeles County and California state vaccine mandates, holding signs reading, “Tyranny will not end with passports” and “Stop socialism, choose freedom.”
The rally went without contention until around 2:30 p.m., when dozens of counter protesters arrived across the street from the rally and a fight ensued.
One person was reportedly stabbed and as the crowd scattered a man could be seen bleeding from the head while LAPD broke up the altercation.
Several minutes after the violent scene, LAPD officers appeared, drawing less-lethal weapons and monitoring the rally.
“LAPD is monitoring a protest at the south lawn of the LA City Hall,” the police department said in a Tweet. “We are on scene to maintain order after a fight broke out. We are aware of 1 male that was stabbed & is being treated by LAFD. No arrests have been made but investigation is on going.”
One of the event’s organizers, congressional candidate Derrick Gates told L.A. Weekly he is not “anti-vax” but believes the COVID-19 vaccine was rushed.
“If you remember at the end of 2020, all the democrats were saying, ‘We’re not going to take the vaccine, you got to be very careful about taking this vax because Trump was behind it,'” Gates said. “I’m saying this is the same vaccine. I just think I would like to give it a year… two years and see what happens with people before I decide to do that for me and my family.”
Gates added that he and many at the rally felt the vaccine mandates are government overreach.
“They’re talking about grocery stores now?” Gates said. “Everybody thinks that conservatives are all White supremacists. Look around you… it’s a majority other cultures here. It’s people that just say, ‘Hey, we don’t want to be forced into taking something.’ That’s it.”
The rally continued after the stabbing incident with LAPD controlling traffic and patrolling the area with less-lethal weapons.
“These aren’t ‘patriots’. Not wearing a mask and being anti-vax isn’t patriotism – it’s stupidity. We have to be able to have differences of opinions without resorting to violence,” L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez said after the protest. “Attacking counter-protesters and journalists has no place in a democracy and certainly no place in Los Angeles.”
As of this writing, no arrests have been made in connection with the stabbing.
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