In the name of their freedoms, their children or their religious beliefs, a few thousand Americans protested in Washington on Sunday against the obligation to vaccinate against COVID-19.
“Duties (vaccine) and liberties are incompatible. Like water and oil”, begins a speaker on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the white marble building dedicated to the 16th President of the United States.
“Breathe,” another triggers. “Inhale God and unleash fear,” he adds to the applause of the crowd, Americans of all ages, unmasked, and sometimes with children.
“I’m not against the vaccine, but I’m against the vaccine,” Michael, a 61 – year – old physiotherapist from Virginia, who does not want to give his last name and justifies RNA serums, told AFP. “Very Trial.”, “Emergency”.
After pausing in an interview to sing the national anthem with the rest of the protesters, Michael explains that he refused the vaccine and benefited from the religious exemption. But to continue working in Washington, he said, he would have to check in every week.
To his great sorrow, his son, initially hesitant, ended up getting vaccinated. “So much pressure from his friends,” he says.
Therese is the complete opposite of vaccines – all vaccines. He explains that he came by bus from Michigan, north of the country, against an attack on “our freedom” that included vaccination duties.
“Vaccines don’t work, we’re lying,” says the sixty-year-old, who worked in a school canteen before retiring and refused to give his last name.
“We should not hide our children,” he argues. “I talked to psychologists who say our children are in pain and they are depressed; “It’s terrible, we have to regain our freedom,” he says.
Above, on the steps, the speakers – especially those in white coats, given as doctors from Texas – are constantly following each other.
“We are Americans, that’s our thing: we fight tyranny!” Says one from the stage.
Rare joggers pass by the crowd as they get lost, amidst the signs of “my body, my will” or “God is our rock, he will defeat Goliath”. There are many posters against Joe Biden, with Donald Trump’s name stamped in the middle of some flags.
Is it hard not to get vaccinated in Washington, D.C.
“Okay, we’ve save money,” laughs Isaac Six, 34, who works for a charity.
The young man, who has not been vaccinated with the Covit-19, says he “went one last time” to his favorite restaurant, Le Diplomate, which specializes in French cuisine and is well-known in the capital, before the pass was introduced on January 15. Hygienic.
Vaccines are generally “wonderful, they have helped millions of people,” but he sees it as “irrational” that “people are forced to be vaccinated, especially when the vaccine does not completely prevent it from spreading.”
Unlike others here who see vaccination duties as a threat to democracy, he says he is optimistic. But what worries him are the principles adopted in his opinion “in the context of fear and panic” and “by order.”
“I would like to see more and more legislative processes that the people we elect to represent us are in fact lawmakers,” he argues.