Rally against vaccine mandates draws 4,000 to downtown Spokane

<p><p>About 4,000 people rallied at Riverfront Park and peacefully marched through downtown Spokane on Saturday as part of a “Rally for Medical Freedom” gathering.</p></p><p><p>People held signs including “UNVACCINATED LIVES MATTER,” “NO FORCED VACCINE” and “DUMP INSLEE” as they listened and cheered speakers preaching freedom and faith at the park.</p></p><p><p>Some wore neon green shirts that said, “Be Brave or Be a Slave” with the hashtag “NoMandates!”</p></p><p><p>“Welcome to our superspreader event,” said Caleb Collier, emcee of the rally. “It’s an event where we spread love, where we spread kindness, where we spread fellowship with our fellow Christian patriots.”</p></p><p><p>Collier is director of recruitment for Understanding the Threat, a group that claims to be the only group in the United States that responds at a moment’s notice to the “growing threat of the Marxist and the Islamic movement in America.”</p></p><p><p>Former state Rep. Matt Shea told the large crowd that this is the hour they are defined as human beings, Americans, patriots and Christians.</p></p><p><p>“Every teacher that’s fired, start a private school,” Shea said, referencing those who may be fired for refusing to get vaccinated. “Every doctor, every nurse that’s fired, start a private clinic.”</p></p><p><p>Shea said liberty is not a mask, but it’s trusting God for healing.</p></p><p><p>“Liberty is not a vaccine, a gene therapy,” he said. “Liberty is making a choice for yourself.”</p></p><p><p>After Shea spoke, Collier led the crowd from the park south on Howard Street, west on First Avenue, north on Post Street, east on Main Avenue and then north on Howard back to the park where music and speaking continued.</p></p><p><p>Police blocked off roads and monitored the march to make sure things went smoothly. Aside from a few minor verbal altercations, there were no conflicts.</p></p><p><p>Some chants were started on the streets, including a “U-S-A” holler.</p></p><p><p>Gabe Parker, who held a sign and marched, said he believes people are losing their jobs because of the vaccine mandate and his friend cannot go to nursing school because she chose not to get vaccinated.</p></p><p><p>“It’s not anyone else’s business or choice to force getting something jabbed into your arm,” said Parker, a Spokane resident. “I’m not against vaccines whatsoever. I’ve always been for them.”</p></p>