SACRAMENTO(KRON) — Hundreds of protesters from across the state, some even from across the country were in Sacramento Friday, demonstrating against the state’s new vaccine law.
Days ago Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill that essentially gives the Department of Public Health the power to determine who can be exempt from childhood vaccines over doctors.
These groups are trying to send a clear message to their elected officials.
With just hours left in the legislative session, a warning to demonstrators from the state’s democratic leaders.
“Those who do not cooperate will be removed from the chambers,” said Assm. Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco).
Friday marks the tenth day of protests prompted by California’s new vaccine law.
The law will crack down on doctors and schools that have higher numbers of vaccine exemptions.
Extra highway patrol officers guarded each chamber and the governor’s office and building security aimed to avoid big protests like ones earlier this week that forced both the senate and assembly to temporarily shut down.
“We are here to hold them accountable, so we are not going away,” said protester Heidi Munoz-Gliesner.
Some protesters promised to stay peaceful while lawmakers work.
Republican Whip Devon Mathis supports the group but acknowledges business has to get done before the midnight deadline to pass legislation.
“I encourage them to peacefully protest, that’s the only option we have left,” Mathis said. “When government overreaches, this is what we see happen, we see the people rise up, when balances of power are out of balance, this is what we get.”
Some leaders of this protest are hoping to get the voters to decide whether this law should be overturned. They’ll need more than 600,000 signatures to get a 2020 ballot initiative.
The demonstrations continue Friday night with a rally at 6 p.m. and candlelight vigil at 8 p.m.