CAMDEN, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — People gathered in east Camden, right off Highway 79, to protest a mandate that Defense Industry employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19, which one protester said was handed down to the company by the federal government.
According to Thursday’s protesters, if the workers are not fully vaccinated by December 8th they will be laid off. Protesters were joined by Senator Trent Garner who was stood in support of the of the Highland Industrial Park Contractors; who feel the mandate violates their right to choose whether to be vaccinated or not without government interference.
Senator Garner spoke to the protesters and thanked them for coming out and applauded them for standing up for their medical freedom in south Arkansas.
I spoke with the Senator Garner and asked him how he felt about the new mandate being set by the federal government and the Biden administration. His response was, “They are defense contractors the men and women who are on the front lines make sure we’re safe.”
Garner also went on to say, “The reality is, lets take away that power from Washington, D.C. from Joe Biden and lets give it back to the people who know how to make their own choices–people here in south Arkansas. Joe Biden, stay out of south Arkansas we’ll handle our business you handle your own.”
The protesters say they feel it is unlawful to force them to choose between jobs and taking the shot. They want to make it clear that they were not protesting Highland Industrial Park, but rather the vaccine mandate. One protester, Nancy Beaver, shared her opinion on the mandate and expressed how it’s unfair and unconstitutional.
“We’re here to protest this because it’s because it is constitutional unconstitutional for one thing we should not have to have our livelihoods and our jobs put on the line for a mandated vaccine that’s not constitutional anyway” says Nancy Beaver
One protester was a young girl in line with her mother who was protesting against the vaccine mandate. Her name was Pepper, we asked her her thoughts about the vaccine mandate, and she shared her voice saying, “I think it should be my choice.”
Protesters say they just want to send a message to the federal government and Washington, D.C. that it is their body, their choice and whether or not they want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.