The anti-mask brigade marched through Santa Fe on Saturday morning to decry a year of public health orders.
On the Plaza, police offered face coverings to a group of around 40 to no avail.
“They agreed that if somebody from outside their group approached them, they would put masks on,” said Santa Fe police Lt. Aaron Ortiz. “They remained peaceful and compliant.”
Santa Fe County’s green status under state public health restrictions prohibits gatherings larger than 20 and requires masks in public. Ortiz said nobody received a citation.
The march started around 10 a.m. at the Railyard with guitar music and hand drums. A pair of security guards kept maskless demonstrators out of the farmers market while at least seven police officers monitored the situation around the Plaza until around 12:30 p.m. Demonstrators held signs warning about vaccines and how lockdowns disproportionately affect the poor.
The state Department of Health announced Friday that 37.4 percent of New Mexicans 16 and older have received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine, and 22.4 percent of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated.
David Gordon, who organized the event, said he believes the Earth is flat, and nobody he knows has contracted the virus. He said he is also planning to run for governor in 2022 as an independent on ideas like free health care, universal higher education and public banking.
“We stand in constitutional opposition to the public health orders. It’s [our] right to come out here and [breathe] without a mask on,” Gordon said. “We’re under threat of arrest, but we’re not hardcore — mostly grandmas who believe in the Constitution.”
According to a news release from the New Mexico Freedoms Alliance, a coalition against public health orders and vaccines, similar rallies took place Saturday in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Edgewood, Las Cruces, Roswell, Portales, Silver City and Deming.