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Anti-mask protesters delay council meeting ahead of vaccine mandate vote

Anti-mask activists protested at the San Jose City Council chambers ahead of a vaccine mandate vote Tuesday.

Dozens of anti-maskers, who predictably did not wear masks in the city chambers, reportedly forced the City Council to take a recess as they tried to get unmasked attendees out.

Pictures posted on different social media platforms show attendees holding signs that read “my body, my choice,” or “What next? Mandating Proof of Vaxx to vote?”

The mandate they are protesting is one proposed by Mayor Sam Liccardo that would require attendees of events with 50 or more people at city-owned facilities to show proof of vaccination.

After the meeting restarted, public comments flooded in with disparaging remarks about vaccines and masking. Several people compared health orders to Nuremberg and one said “the vaccine passport is in line with the mark of the beast.” The San Jose Police Department chaplain also spoke up to reject vaccine requirements.    

If passed by the City Council on Tuesday, the mandate would impact facilities like the SAP Center, San Jose McEnery Convention Center and the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.

However, last week Liccardo said the mandate would not be effective immediately as venue operators would need time to adjust in order to adhere to the new rule.

The City Council vote can be watched in person at the council chambers at City Hall or online at https://sanjoseca.zoom.us/j/93052835954.

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