An enthusiastic group of demonstrators gathered Saturday at the food court of a Staten Island mall to protest the vaccine passport mandate imposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City government.
The passport mandate requires patrons of restaurants in the city to show proof of vaccination to employees before being allowed to dine indoors.
Freelance journalist Oliya Scootercaster captured video footage of the maskless protestors. Many participants were wearing Trump shirts and hats. One member of the group waved an American flag.
Dozens of Anti-mandate activists have entered a vaccinated only food court in Staten Island chanting "USA USA" pic.twitter.com/YtIrQrjGw8
— Scootercaster (@ScooterCasterNY) September 25, 2021
The crowd chanted “USA! USA!” in unison as it approached the dining facilities. After the demonstrators got themselves seated in the dining area of the food court, chants of “F*** Joe Biden!” broke out, as well as “My body, my choice!”
Scootercaster interviewed one protestor who said that people in New York City “shouldn’t be carrying papers and showing papers.” Another member of the group said, “I don’t like experiments,” and asked what happened to “my body, my choice” in America?
The passport mandate announced in the summer by de Blasio went into effect on August 16, and the city began active enforcement on September 13. The mandate requires operators of most indoor businesses, including restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, to demand that customers provide adequate proof of COVID vaccination before being allowed entry.
Scootercaster wrote that the demonstrators she filmed were not asked to show proof of vaccination at the food court. There is a sign at the entrance indicating that compliance with the mandate is required.
Fox News interviewed John Matland, who organized the gathering. Matland operates an Instagram page titled “We the People are the News.” He said that the purpose of the assembly was to show the public that the city’s mandate is not being regularly enforced.
Matland said that the purpose of the protest was also to support the food court, which he expected to get an “influx of money and support.” He added that the demonstration showed that enforcement of the mandate is not effective against people who refused to comply. He said that if people “walked in, sat down, they wouldn’t be stopped.”