Skip to main content

Thousands turn out for 'medical freedom' rally against vaccine mandates

Multiple state GOP lawmakers addressed the crowds.

The State Capitol grounds in St. Paul were busy this weekend, with a Line 3 protest giving way to a large-scale demonstration against vaccine mandates.

The so-called medical freedom rally started at 7am just outside the State Fair, with protesters marching all the way to the capitol, per an announcement from state Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal).

Marchers converged at the capitol grounds around noon to hear Munson and other lawmakers, including Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), speak out against vaccination mandates.

According to the Star Tribune, some 2,000 protesters heard speeches from "roughly a half-dozen Republican legislators and two candidates for governor," all of whom voiced opposition to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Per MPR reporter Tim Nelson, Franson told the crowd to resist COVID vaccines and mandates, calling them "the predicates to authoritarianism."

In a followup Facebook post, Franson urged her followers to lobby state lawmakers, promising that "legislation" — presumably aimed at blocking such mandates — "will be offered (again) for the upcoming session."

"Today was a great start at sending the message that your body does not belong to big government, big Pharma, big tech and big business," she wrote.

The rally came close on the heels of a days-long protest against Enbridge Energy's Line 3 oil pipeline project, which ended Friday when state troopers moved in and made multiple arrests on the capitol grounds.

The lack of arrests at the medical freedom rally has come under criticism on social media, with some users pointing out that Line 3 protesters — who demonstrated outside the governor's mansion on Saturday — were met with "crowd suppression" while the anti-vaccine protesters received little, if any, pressure from police:

The event was not a one-off; there have been a number of medical freedom rallies around the state in recent days, including one in Brainerd, another in Little Falls and still another in St. Cloud

And it's not limited to Minnesota, either. Such rallies are being staged around the country as the debate over COVID restrictions intensifies amid growing Delta variant infections. 

Next Up

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, DFL, GOP reach agreement on state surplus spending

The framework deal includes spending on education, health care, human services and public safety, as well as tax cuts.

Harriet Island flooding, St. Paul

St. Paul to close road in anticipation of Mississippi River flooding

River levels are expected to rise through the week.

Michael Davis

Former Mormon church leader convicted of sexually assaulting boy, 13

It emerged that the church leader was a registered sex offender.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Lost 1-year-old reunited with parents in Brooklyn Park

The girl was found by a concerned citizen around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 8.33.49 AM

For 2nd time, Minnesota farm devastated by deadly fire

Around 1,000 goats and a litter of puppies were killed when a barn caught fire on Friday.

ambulance

Fleeing suspect crashes, killing innocent driver in Brooklyn Park

The suspect fled police in Osseo and was going south on County Road 81.

1497 S Ferry St, Anoka, MN 55303, United States - August 2021

Body found tangled with debris in the Mississippi River

The individual's name has not yet been released.

Northtown Mall Carnival

Around 100 kids run from carnival fight into Northtown Mall

Police say a large fight was happening on the ferris wheel before kids fled into the mall.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 9.29.03 AM

Former state senator Scott Jensen endorsed by GOP for governor

Jensen beat to multiple other hopefuls for the endorsement at Saturday's convention.

storm

NWS already monitoring Thursday for severe weather in MN

Monday-Wednesday should be fantastic weather in Minnesota.

MissingMankatoWomanSideBySide

Body of missing Mankato woman believed to have been found

A canoer found the body in a swamp near Eagle Lake Friday.

Related

Despite single-digit temps, thousands attend St. Paul Women's March

It coincided with woman's marches in Washington, D.C. and around the U.S.

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee workers to hold car rally demanding better working conditions

They say they don't have adequate coronavirus protections.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

vaccine, covid

MN saw decline in routine child vaccinations amid pandemic

The CDC study looked at Minnesota and nine other states.

Chris Berg

Fargo TV host leaves before station vaccine mandate goes into effect

Chris Berg is out at the TV station, but in at a local radio station.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Rochester mayor seeking support for increased mask mandate

Masks will soon be required at city facilities.