Protesters at Capitol demand vaccine mandate ban

After they couldn't schedule a meeting with the House Speaker, demonstrators say they'll expand their goal.

TALLAHASSEE – Several hundred Floridians rallied at the state’s Capitol against vaccine mandates Wednesday.

The protestors want the Legislature to ban all vaccine mandates both public and private, but Republicans have expressed hesitations about interfering with private employers.

The courtyard between the old and new capitols was packed with protesters wielding signs displaying anti-vaccine messages.

“We as Floridians are not experiments,” said Hillsborough Pastor Jayson Williams.

They came to send a message to lawmakers who they accuse of putting corporate interests over the will of those who don’t want the vaccine.

“You seriously support your constituents being thrown out on the street?” said podcaster JC Hall.

Missing among the crowd were state lawmakers. Only one showed up.

“Why are they hiding in their offices?” said attorney and podcaster KrisAnne Hall.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini, the one lawmaker who was in the crowd, wants to ban both private and public vaccine mandates for employees.

“It’s not just the threats from big government that are a threat to liberty today, it’s the threat from these big woke corporations,” said Sabatini.

He rejected the argument made by some Republicans that the state shouldn’t tell private businesses what they can and can’t do.

“They pass dozens and dozens and dozens of regulations on private businesses in the building every single year,” said Sabatini.

After the rally, protesters flooded inside the Capitol.

From there they went to the House Speaker’s Office where they demanded a meeting, but they were told the speaker was attending a family member’s funeral.

After failing to secure a meeting with the House speaker, protesters then planned to attempt meeting with all 160 members of the State Legislature.

And while the protesters said they have the governor on their side, Gov. Ron DeSantis has not asked the Legislature to outright ban employer vaccine mandates.

Still no official legislation has been unveiled ahead of the special session, but we’ve been told to expect that to change by week’s end.