California law SB 742 would enact criminal penalties for threatening or harassing anyone going to a vaccination site. Lawmakers concerned about the intensity of hostility around vaccination sites and want to establish a 30 foot buffer zone so that those going for vaccinations would not receive leaflets or be confronted with signs or verbal protests. Free speech advocates including FAC’s Glen Smith think the 30 foot barrier is excessive and out of compliance with court rulings. (Santa Maria Times, August 14, 2021, by Rachel Bluth of Kaiser Health News)
The intense hostility was on display at an anti-vaccine rally at the Los Angeles City Hall last weekend when counter protesters showed up and engaged in fisticuffs with anti-vaxxers. At least two journalists were assaulted and one man was stabbed. (Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2021, by James Queally and Alex Wigglesworth)
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