Firefighters and police officers in Newark rallied outside City Hall Wednesday, protesting Mayor Ras Baraka’s mandate requiring city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19; they demanded the mayor rescind the mandate, saying that forcing workers to get vaccinated is a violation of their constitutional rights. The mandate requires city workers to be vaccinated by Sept. 15 or be fired.
The protesting police and firefighters said they understand the need to keep people safe but they believe the mayor has gone too far. “We are not anti-vaxxers. I’m vaccinated. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, but I know that people have religious, medical and personal choice,” said Anthony Tarantino, president of the Newark Fire Officers Union.