ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Hundreds gathered outside Graham Park near downtown Rochester Sunday afternoon, rallying for medical freedom. The group said they're in support of individual choices, and against forced mask mandates, forced vaccinations and forced vaccine passports.
One of the protestors was Kami O'Hara. O'Hara said her boyfriend is choosing not to get vaccinated, and is willing to lose his job over it the requirement.
"We choose not to take it. I mean, that's fine if you want to take it. We shouldn't have to lose our jobs because he's choosing not to take it," said O'Hara. "We're gonna protest, we're gonna fight. We're gonna stand up for our rights, and our country, and our freedom."
Rights and freedoms were the themes of Sunday afternoon's protest along South Broadway Avenue in Rochester. Attendees demanded an end to mask and vaccine requirements.
"No one has the right to mandate anything. That we have god given rights. And that government is supposed to protect those rights. They're not supposed to grant us power and freedoms that we already have," said Karin Charron, an organizer of the event. "If you want to wear a mask, go right ahead. I just don't want to be forced to. If you want to get a vaccine, go right ahead. I just don't want to be forced to do that."
Their message was demanding that individuals have the opportunity to make their own decisions. In speaking with a front line worker about the rally, she said that there is one correct decision: take the shot, or the consequences could be dire.
"A lot of us in the hospital, we have to laugh, because we all took it and we're all okay," said Brianne Bernini, an EMT. "We have another wave of this going through, and I can tell you that a majority of the people that are coming into the ER very sick, are the ones that have not been vaccinated."
Demonstrators Sunday remained adamant that the vaccine should not be forced.
"I know that some people have agreed to take the shot our of fear and coercion, and that is absolutely wrong," said Charron.