BY MAIRE O’NEILL
A large group met at Rover Park in White Rock Saturday to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 vaccination mandates such as the state mandate for all healthcare workers and the Triad National Security mandate at Los Alamos National Laboratory that all employees be vaccinated by Oct. 15.
Sources tell the Los Alamos Reporter that flyers, such as the one above, that have appeared on local social media calling for a “call out” Sept. 7 were inspired by Brandon Burns and the Nevada-based Las Vegas Freedom of Choice group. Burns apparently walked out of a job he had been in for six years in protest of government mandates. The Freedom of Choice Group claims to be both pro- and anti-mask, pro- and anti-vaccine.
Some members of the local group intend to participate in the Sept. 7 lunchtime event at Ashley Pond but some will not for fear of reprisal, sources say. The local group is emphasizing that this is not an anti-vaccine event, but an “anti-vaccine mandates” event and that employees should “call-out on vacation” rather than walk off their jobs for the event.
Los Alamos National Laboratory announced August 23 that all employees, on-site contractors and subcontractors must be vaccinated by Oct. 15. When the announcement was made, some 85 percent of LANL employees had already been vaccinated.
On Thursday morning, a GoFundMe.com account was posted on local media seeking to raise “LANL legal fees” with a goal of $20,000. By 10 a.m., some $3,100 had been donated with all but four donors listed as anonymous. The organizer is listed as “Atomic Patriot”.
The Los Alamos Reporter reached out to LANL earlier this week on the protest but has not yet received a response.