JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Hundreds of Missourians piled into the Capitol building on Wednesday in opposition of President Biden’s vaccine mandate and recent race-based education in schools, among other things.
One of the event organizers, Britany Hartzell, called the vaccine mandate “completely unconstitutional and immoral” and believes that choice should be left up to the individual.
“The Biden Administration is completely overreaching,” she told The Heartlander. “Private businesses and educational institutions do not have the right to force medical interventions or procedures on any individual.”
Hartzell is the Founder and President of the grassroots organization ‘Take A Stand Now Missouri’. The group’s efforts are centered around standing up for individual liberties and advocating against medical descrimination regarding the recent vaccine mandate.
Hartzell planned the rally alongside Andy Wells, Missouri Chapter President for ‘No Left Turn in Education’, an organization that advocates against race-based education and “problematic” school curricula.
Wells already had the 1st floor Rotunda reserved for his rally, but when he and Hartzel realized their groups’ views aligned, they decided to combine forces and do a joint event.
During the rally, speakers from No Left Turn in Education read excerpts from children’s books that they and rally goers believe to be troublesome. Those books discussed topics such as “anti-racism”, Critical Race Theory, transgenderism and gender identity, among other things.
Attendees erupted in opposition against the books with many deeming the material to be unsuitable for young children and detrimental to how children will grow up to view the world.
A host of Missouri Senators and Representatives also spoke at the event. After each one passionately condemned Biden’s vaccine mandate, the problematic book texts and the recent news of controversial school curriculums, each speaker received a thundering applause of agreeance from the audience.
“Today, folks across Missouri came together to protest the unprecedented assault on their freedoms by President Biden and others in Missouri who have been complicit in that assault,” State Sen. Bill Eigel told The Heartlander. “Vaccine mandates, mask mandates, quarantine restrictions… all of these policies are unconstitutional and harm the people of Missouri.”
Wells said that while he does think schools’ curricula should be up to local control, he believes that the only way to stop Critical Race Theory and “radical” course material from being implemented is by enacting state laws against it.
“The only way to change their policies, is to put a state law into effect that says you cannot teach blame or judgement based on race, sex, gender, national origin or religion,” Wells said. “And if [school districts] legally can’t teach blame or judgement, they can’t teach Critical Race Theory.”
Hartzell and Take A Stand Now Missouri similarly came to the Capitol because they believe action from legislators is the only way to stop Biden’s vaccine mandate from going into effect.
“Our organization came to the Capitol today to get legislators involved in this process and to take a stand with us in representing what the people in Missouri want,” she said.
Members of the Senate Conservative Caucus on Wednesday pressured Gov. Mike Parson to call a special session in order to address the vaccine mandate and to pass legislation prohibiting its implementation in the state. However, their efforts came up short as Parson has yet to do so.
As Parson recently said “All options are on the table,” when discussing a way of fighting the mandate, he can expect more pressure to call a special session from elected officials and groups like Take A Stand Now Missouri.