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Kathy Cerrillo and Daniel May call out to motorists as protesters gather Saturday outside the Roundhouse.

Two anti-vaccine protests were held Saturday in Santa Fe, just days before Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was set to fully reopen the state as vaccination rates continue to climb.

More than 60 protesters gathered in a shaded area outside the state Capitol to protest the governor’s policies and her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re in the minority if we don’t want to take the vaccine,” said Leanna Derrick, the event’s organizer, speaking to a group of demonstrators holding signs that read “Unmask our Kids,” “No shots,” “Let Kids See Smiles” and “Stop MLG.”

Others wore shirts with the slogan “Lizard people 2020,” a response to an incident earlier this month when Lujan Grisham called a group of protesters “QAnon lizard people.”

“We have to fight tooth and nail,” said Derrick, referring to what she called the governor’s “unconstitutional” policies. “Do you want to be an experiment?”

The event was held by the grassroots organization Call To Action NM. According to its Facebook page, the group has over 800 members.

Another protest organized by the UNmask NMkids Group also took place Saturday in Santa Fe’s Salvador Perez Park.

The protest at the Roundhouse began with a prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a rendition of the national anthem lead by Derrick.

Many protesters expressed concerns common in the anti-vaccination movement, which has become increasingly visible and vocal during the coronavirus pandemic. They include fears over the alleged haste in which the coronavirus vaccines were approved, the constitutionality of mandated vaccinations and the alleged detrimental effect on those who receive the vaccine, particularly children.

“People between 12-30 have had swelling around the heart,” said Marcie May, describing the condition known as myocarditis she said was a common side effect of the vaccine. “It feels like having a heart attack.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.”

Others complained of the Vax 2 Max program, which offers cash prizes for New Mexicans who receive their COVID-19 vaccinations.

“She’s bribing our people to take the vaccines,” said Brett Kokinadis, director of the STOP MLG campaign.

“Her policies are evil,” said Derrick. “They hurt New Mexicans of all population and ages.”

A spokeswoman for the Governor’s Office could not be reached for comment Saturday.

While the vaccination rate has climbed to over 60 percent in New Mexico, some said they do not ever plan to get the vaccine.

“Why would I get something that can hurt my children and me?” said a protester who did not wish to be named.

A recent survey conducted by the University of New Mexico’s Center for Social Policy found one-third of unvaccinated residents don’t want the vaccine. Another 15 percent who had their first shot did not intend to get a second dose.

(56) comments

Comment deleted.
Robert Fields

The emergency use authorizations are a form of approval that out of necessity aren’t quite as rigorous. There have still been trials. There have still been tests. And when issues were discovered with very small numbers of patients with certain vaccines, guidance was modified.

Tony Mark

If you don't want to get a vaccine, don't get a vaccine! However, if you come down with Covid-19, either don't look to larger society to take care of you, i.e. - you need to pay a kind of non-vaccinated premium on your health insurance to underwrite the cost of taking care of you. And if your children are left parentless, you have to pay some kind of insurance to take care of them, so that they will not be a burden on the larger populace which sees the vaccine as a positive not a negative. I respect your decision, though I disagree with you 100%. That said, you have to pay the price for your decisions. Don't ask me to underwrite what I perceive as your stupidity, much less your utter disrespect for the social contract. Have a nice day, and bless your heart.

Ruth Peterson

Does the Santa Fe New Mexican give a stupid comment award? Illegal aliens with covid are pouring into the country including unaccompanied children, thanks to #OpenBordersBiden and #QueMalaHarris and they want to be get rid of title 42, and you're worried about the "burden on the larger population" and want to force unvaccinated to pay "some kind of insurance premium"? Oh please!

Steve Martinez

There is almost no chance that the vaccinated will get COVID. The people who will get COVID are the unvaccinated, and the children of those who have been vaccinated. If the anti-vaxxers are pro life, I hope they are thinking about the children of the vaccinated.

Jason Evans

Pride month has reminded us it's all a matter of choice. Same goes for getting vaccinated. Same goes for selecting a governor.

Robert Fields

My choice was to get vaccinated and not flirt with a coffin and grave site, not burden overworked and exhausted health care staff, not infect other people, and not provide a petri dish to create more new variants. That was my choice. Now that the D variant is surging and is more contagious, I’m fine with everyone exercising their choices. More power to you. Go with god. Etc. Kind of a rapture for the less intelligent.

Ruth Peterson

You’re so “less intelligent” you assume I’m not vaccinated. Have fun with that rapture.

Nicole Panter Dailey

Soooo...here's what the danger is when 1/3 of the population refuses to get vaccinated (btw, the vaccines have been researched and developed over a 17 year period. not exactly overnight)...that 1/3 of the population becomes a very robust petrie dish for new, more virulent variants to develop. Variants that will could very well have developed a strong resistance to the vaccines. Basic evolutionary biology is that the virus mutates in order to survive and outwit obstacles to its flourishing. Like vaccines. It is not going to be pretty. PS I am still wearing my mask and will continue to do so.

Comment deleted.
Robert Fields

From an authoritative and peer reviewed video some anti-vaxxer posted on Facebook.

That video has been debunked. It’s false and untrue.


Comment deleted.
Ruth Peterson

Yours is the most laughably "telling" comment of all, First Last (in your dreams--you're no alpha or omega). No one was "yelling vulgarities at passerby's" but you're doing a good job of name calling,. If your older French couple were for real, someone should have reminded the elderly snobs that #1 they are visitors in someone else's country and #2 the people they implied were illiterates saved them from the Naz1s in WWII. About yelling, you were yelling. Lizard people aren't fans of communists or socialist Naz1s. That sounds like something more up your alley. BTW, SF doesn't belong to you. It's is the capitol of NM and belongs to all New Mexicans--even the ones from Rio Rancho.

Comment deleted.
Anita McGinnis

Is it easy to condescendingly call someone else an inbred fascist, hate filled idiot, scumbag, while maintaining your self above all that hate? But of course you had a "French couple" who joined with your in your haughty attitude.

Comment deleted.
Carolyn DM

LOL!! What is the, "wrong color", for getting a vaccine and who exactly told you that?

Tom Hyland

Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews CJ Hopkins, an American playwright living in Berlin several years now. Hopkins' website https://consentfactory.org is a beneficial source of social commentary. This interview contains valid and familiar observations of what is occurring in Santa Fe, in Germany and everywhere else. https://tinyurl.com/v8cv3mec

Mike Johnson

Those of us who are vaccinated should really not care about people who don't want to get vaccinated, they are no danger to us, let them do as they like, it is their life.

Tom Hyland

You belong to a rare group, Mike. You've been vaxxed and have no fear of the unvaxxed. I know people, and I'm reading of many others, who have been vaxxed and will not allow others near them unless they, too, have taken the vaccine. Do these vaccines work, or not?

Mike Johnson

True Mr. Hyland. It seems paranoid behavior is commonplace, as the germophobes come out in force. I noticed MLG was awarding a big Vax 2 The Max check the other day and both had huge thick masks on even though both are fully vaccinated, it makes no sense scientifically. The vaccines DO work, those who want to mask up after being fully vaccinated are as bad as the anti-vaxers are IMO.

Stephanie Rosen

Thank you Mike Johnson!

Khal Spencer

The statistics say they work pretty well. Perfect? Nothing is sure except, as we say, death and taxes.

The only thing one can do to eliminate all risk from one's life is jump off the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge (or equivalent Rx for putting out the lights). Sure, there is some residual risk for those of us who have all our shots. There are hazards all around us but we don't hide under our beds. We mitigate the risks. Shots, seat belts, bringing your close friends Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson along if you are walking the dog at night in some parts of this town, etc.

On the way home from running some errands on my bicycle a few minutes ago, I had to take evasive action twice due to inattentive motorists. If someone is gonna get me, its probably with their car, not whatever Bug they are carrying.

Sabine Strohem

As usual, Mike, you're wrong.

Mike Johnson

As usual, you are incorrect and obviously not a scientist or following CDC guidance, but rather old left wing wives tales....:

"If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.

Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing," Read the truth and not your paranoid political impulses..you are a good example of how this is all about politics and ignorance.....https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html?s_cid=11350:cdc%20guidelines%20fully%20vaccinated:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21

Richard Reinders


Robert Fields

They actually are a danger to the rest of us and could possibly host a new variant that isn’t stopped by current vaccines.

It’s how these things work. Random variations can get introduced each time the virus replicates. The more replications, the better the odds that a variant escapes vaccine protection.

Comment deleted.
Mark Stahl

Once, just once, I would like to see someone use the term “communist” who actually knows what the term means. It’s tossed around like a schoolyard epithet and has lost any actual meaning, along with socialist, fascist and racist. And what, please tell us, was the wrong color for a vaccination?

Peter Zabriskie

Dear Santafeans, congratulations on the only literate comment discussion I have read in, well forever. I am very glad my wife and I have moved back to New Mexico. The usual vitriol and name calling back East is demoralizing and I believe leading to dire straits. I agree with those of you who recognize the Governor probably should not "swing at a pitch in the dirt." It is tough not to when provoked directly, don't ask how I know. So just a bit off topic I will swing....Justice Kavanaugh said last week litigants could not sue because Credit Companies Transunion,Equifax, and et.al did not publish their names. He said, "a letter written and put in a desk drawer, even though harmful, posed no threat." Ah, I think your wrong Sir. As a writer, my written work when written and fixed in a "fixed permanent, dated, and reproducible way" is a legal copyright hence it has legal stature. Your letter of bad intent, even locked in your drawer, has legal stature. What if the Founding Father's locked the Declaration and Constitution in a drawer? Would only they have the benefit of legal Freedom? Are you; the paid Guardian of those documents, locking them and God knows what else in your drawer and telling us, "they are not there because I have not let them see the light of day?" Sir, I think you not only have to let those documents have their legal standing, I certainly believe You must release All the documents in Your Drawer that reveal Your true beliefs about us your employer and legal Sovereigns.

Khal Spencer

I was more or less in the first full generation to get the Polio vaccine and we all got it back when common sense was not an uncommon virtue. Polio has pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird in the U.S. But folks just a little older than me had to deal with polio, which was devastating. A friend and colleague in the Meteorology Dept. who is a little older than me used to be a runner although he ran and walked with a limp. I asked him if it was an injury. Nope. Polio. Eventually his leg got too weak to drive a standard. He was lucky to have a minor permanent impairment. Folks like FDR were in braces or worse.

You want to be in an experiment? Sure, be my guest. Be in the control group that doesn't get the shots. Maybe in a few years we will have sufficient data to see the difference.

Agree with Dan Frazier. Nothing wrong with "lizard people" for us to mutter, but the Governor should know better than to get down in the mud and wrestle. She should be setting the example of staying above the insults. Governors of all fifty states were between a rock and a hard place on what to do with the biggest pandemic in a century. I'll give her credit for the honest struggle, even if I want to pick a few nits with the details.

Sabine Strohem

Darwinism in action.

Angel Ortiz

Experimental? Test subjects? This is what happens when you watch too many YouTube videos and FOX news! Even more seriously, don't get the vaccine, get the virus and place first responders and hospital staff in harms way. Selfish and ignorant! Don't blame the Governor. Look in the mirror and take responsibility!

Diad Wheeler

99% of the current Covid deaths are from the un-vaccinated. Natural Selection in this instance may not be a bad thing.

B. Rosen

The former president decided to politicize this pandemic because he botched his initial response to it. Now we have large groups of misinformed people on the fringe right wing equating vaccination with communism and they now believe in other wacko conspiracy theories with no basis whatsoever in reality. Before vaccinations existed many millions of children didn’t survive their infancy, we have virtually wiped out small pox, polio, etc. I consider vaccination one of the greatest scientific achievements in human history, and yet a few dishonest politicians and the nonsense people circulate on the internet is enough to keep people from protecting themselves from this latest deadly pathogen. I sincerely hope these people decide to protect themselves with the free and available vaccines and they don’t continue to spread COVID variants in our state.

Charlotte Rowe

The ignorant and easily frightened infiltrate even the best corners of society.

Diad Wheeler

I'm positive that our society would be better off with fewer of these delusional and selfish people. Maybe their paranoid behavior will help that along.

Lupe Molina

They should have just cut to the chase and made signs that say, "Don't hire me!"

mark Coble

Experimental shot? No long term studies? Fatal side effects for some? 14 days to flatten the curve? 100 days of face diapers full of bacteria? Lock down the healthy? Kill small businesses? Enrich big box stores? Enrich big pharma? Bail outs for large financial concerns? Double masks? Masks out doors? Freedom is being sold as dangerous? War is peace? Freedom is slavery? Santa Feans are easily duper by far left controlled media?

Charlotte Rowe

Your lack of interest in the well-being of others, totally notwithstanding your lack of understanding of how diseases spread and mutate, are quite apparent.

Russell Scanlon

Two words folks: Delta Variant.

Tom Hyland

Two more words, Russell. Booster shots.

John Cook

It's hard to complain of dictatorship and tyranny when you are allowed to slither onto the State Capitol grounds to make public protests.

Khal Spencer

[thumbup] You don't think that bit of cognitive dissonance was noticed by any of them?

As Mr. Scanlon suggests, Natural Selection may solve this problem. Bring on the Darwin Awards.

Amy Earle

What is the point of either of these rallies? The sensible have been vaccinated and don’t care what these foolish people have to say. Responsible parents who believe in science and don’t get all their information from conspiracy theory internet groups have their children who can not yet be vaccinated wearing masks in public indoor spaces. The virus has gone nowhere. With so many people now vaccinated it has to find vulnerable hosts to infect and some of this group should expect a very unpleasant visit from the virus come fall when the virus makes a resurgence. If they want to play Russian Roulette with their own lives so be it but they also endanger the socially responsible among us by possibly spawning new, more dangerous variants not to mention that huge parts of the world would love to have access to vaccination these dopes refuse. Instead of holding silly signs and shouting about their freedoms they might be having a serious conversation with their doctors about what the consequences might be if they continue their defiance of all common sense. They also might enroll in some social studies classes so they can understand what freedom actually means.

mark Coble

Got covid. We didn't die, now have natural immunity. That's our consequence. Not obese, not addicts. 65! All better now. 99.85% or better survival rate for healthy people under 75.

Sheri VS

Sadly, others were not as fortunate as you. My sister-in-law died from COVID. She weighed all of 110 pounds, not an addict, & under 75. So just consider yourself lucky.

Charlotte Rowe

your "natural immunity" is weak and will decline fast. Don't delude yourself.

Barry Rabkin

100% correct, Amy. 100% correct.

J. Beatty

If you're a vaccine protestor, thank your vaccinated friends for contributing to the herd immunity that protects you. I wasn't vaccinated against chickenpox, red measles, rubella, mumps or polio, and I had all of those diseases. The last one, when I spent 5 months in a polio ward, paralyzed from the neck down and in an iron lung, and then years in rehab that still left me with a disability -- well, that was definitely the worst.

Charlotte Rowe

I"m so sorry for your polio experience! I had a voice teacher for several years who was wheelchair-bound because of having contracted polio in her childhood. I remember myself as a child seeing scary images of wards full of iron lungs with people (mostly kids) in them, although by that time the worst of the epidemic was over and I had been vaccinated along with all my schoolmates. I had measles, mumps and chicken pox because there were no vaccines available at that time. Kindergarten was almost doomed for me because it all came at the same time for me (plus a flu as well). But polio would have been the worst. Jonas Salk should have a statue erected to him if he hasn't already.

Dan Frazier

It seems strange to be holding an anti-vaccine rally at this late date. Most people are already at least partly vaccinated. Also, nobody is being forced to get vaccinated. If you don't like people getting vaccinated, don't get vaccinated. You take your chances and maybe you (and those around you) suffer the consequences.

It is very kind and considerate of these protesters to try to warn people of the perceived dangers of the vaccine. Maybe vaccine supporters should hold a rally to tell people about the real dangers of Covid-19, and the real benefits of the vaccine.

While I agree with the term "lizard people" in this context, I don't support the governor's use of the term. After all, she is the governor of all the people. I would hope the governor would be more tactful. But tact does not seem to be much in evidence with the governor, which is probably why she is still governor, and not part of the Biden administration.

Mike Johnson

Agreed. MLG showed all the class and people skills of Hilary Clinton, when she went after the "Basket of deplorables" and promptly showed her true colors to the American public at large. Hopefully, the NM voters will be as intelligent and feel the same about MLG in the next election.

Carolyn DM

LOL!! Still obsessing over Hillary, Hillary, Hillary after all these years!! Just like Mr. Trumpf supposedly did at his first clown show rally last night after finally coming out of his hiding hole!!

David Pierce

Not to mention that, as time has passed, Hillary was quite correct in her description

Khal Spencer

"Not to mention that, as time has passed, Hillary was quite correct in her description"

Not to mention, Donald Trump was thanking her for that witless statement as he took the oath of office. You gotta win to make a difference and Hillary, in spite of her mastery of policy statements, showed all the political acumen of a box of rocks.

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