Earlier Tuesday, anti-mask protesters tried to stop the vote by disrupting the city council meeting. In the end, the council had to take a break as it tried to get the unmasked protesters out.
“We are not going to continue until everyone is masked,” San José Mayor Sam Liccardo said before the meeting was briefly suspended.
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Tuesday’s meeting was suspended for about an hour. Eventually, the city voted unanimously to approve the proposal after 8 p.m.
Soon, anyone attending events with 50 or more people at city-owned facilities will need to show proof of vaccination.
“People should have the freedom to choose what to do with their medical decisions. And it’s coercion,” protester Dorota Niewczas told ABC7 News of the decision.
However, the city does not require people to get vaccinated – only that they are able to provide proof when attending gatherings at places like the SAP Center, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts and others.
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Protesters gathered outside and inside City Hall on Tuesday. Those who spoke to ABC7 News said they were shocked to see San Jose police respond.
“Really, your citizens are fed up and that’s what you see,” protester Wayne Chun said. “And all of a sudden you immediately walk into all the cops that come in and that sort of thing?”
Board member Dev Davis said, “I think it’s a lot harder to get your point across when you’re shouting obscenities.”
“I’m always happy to listen to people, but we should have decorum in our public speech,” Davis continued. “And yelling obscenities and refusing to follow the rules is not having any kind of decorum.”
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Mayor Liccardo met with journalists ahead of the vote. He addressed Tuesday’s heated confrontation, saying he expected a reaction from the public.
“This should not change our fundamental posture, which is that we have to follow the data,” said the mayor. “We need to follow the science and make the best decisions to protect our residents. “
This is a real challenge for city leaders who maintain they are tracking county-wide data, showing a significant increase in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks.
“We are all frustrated and we want to do everything possible to regain the feeling we all had before this pandemic struck,” he added. “But the world has changed.”
Images posted on various social media platforms show participants holding signs reading “my body, my choice” or “what’s next?” Mandate the proof of Vaxx to vote?
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Now that San José has voted unanimously to approve the proof of vaccination mandate, the mayor plans to give site operators some time to adjust, before implementing the new rules.
After Tuesday’s vote, Mayor Liccardo issued the following statement:
“Tonight City Council unanimously approved my proposal requiring all attendees and staff to provide proof of vaccination prior to participating in major events at city-owned facilities. This action will reduce the risk of “super-spreading” events in our community that can dramatically increase infections and hospitalizations. Thank you to my colleagues on Council who continue to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the health and safety of our residents. We need to listen to the science and the data, and right now the data is clearly telling us that vaccination is our safest path to the other side of this pandemic.. “
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