Protestors lined Elmwood Avenue in Burlington on Monday to show their resistance to Vermont’s mask mandate and other emergency orders taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’re infringing on our constitutional rights and we got to do somethingjj about it period,” said Ernie Delage.
Inside the federal building, Judge William Sessions listened to testimony in a lawsuit against state officials, including Gov. Phil Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
Plaintiffs in the case claim the mandates are unconstitutional and someone should be held accountable for the fallout, which they say includes loss of livelihood.
Taylor Woodard says he was on his way into the courthouse and planned to testify. But he says the hearing reached capacity so he joined other supporters on the sidewalk.
“This isn’t a political thing, this is just about our well being and our freedoms,” Woodard said. “That’s what I would have said to the judge – this is about our well being and our freedom, and correct information.”
In addition to opposing masks and social distancing, many protestors say they reject any requirements for COVID-19 vaccination in schools and workplaces. They say it’s past time to return to normal measures.
“These restrictions are truly hurting people. The suicide rate in Vermont is way up,” said Claudia Stauber. “The governor needs to step down and get out of the way of normal people wanting to live their lives.”