Firefighters on the street against compulsory vaccination

Several thousand New York City employees, mostly firefighters, two-fifths of whom have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, marched on the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday to protest the vaccine demand announced by the city council last week.

• Read also: Mandatory vaccination for police and firefighters in New York

Are you asked if you have been vaccinated when you seek help? “No” to those who represent the “end of liberties,” US President Joe Biden and Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

All city employees were called to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and into City Hall, but the firefighters were by far the most numerous, identifiable by the T-shirts of their barracks, where the names of their colleagues who died in police stations in the September 11, 2001 attacks sometimes appeared.

France Press agency

France Press agency

According to the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), the vaccination rate was 60% among its employees on Monday (about 17,000 in total), well below the average for New York adults (84%).

Among the protesters, wary of journalists, and amid the many American flags and pro-Trump slogans, John, a 35-year-old firefighter, says he’s not against the vaccine, but against the fact that it’s mandatory. “I would never want anyone to feel pressured to reveal information about their health,” he said, declining to be named.

France Press agency

France Press agency

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Adrian Williams, 43, an FDNY office worker, assures us that she won’t be vaccinated, even if it would cost her her job.

“I have to choose between my career and my life, and I’m going to choose my life,” she says, even though vaccines are considered very safe by all experts and side effects are mild in the process. “The vast majority of cases.

“But I shouldn’t be forced to make that choice,” she continued, saying she feared losing her job and “with nothing”, “after spending 19 years in the service.”

France Press agency

France Press agency

After teachers and caregivers in September, whose vaccination rate now exceeds 95%, New York has expanded the vaccination requirement to all 160,000 municipal employees, of whom 46,000 did not receive their first injection last week.

The town’s police union immediately announced that it would appeal the decision in court.

To motivate the most hesitant, City Hall has promised a $500 payroll bonus to those who will receive their first dose before October 29. After this period, the rebel will initially see his wages on hold.

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