Anti-Mask Protest Rattles

Alex Reilly and Kacy Minehan

An organized protest was located throughout Downtown Sonoma against all mask mandates and COVID vaccines. There were approximately 200-250 protesters from all over the county. One of which was Healdsburg City Councilwoman Syklaer Palacios. 

She is considered a figurehead in the anti-mandate movement, bringing in a variety of the people that attended on Sunday. According to Constantino and Pera from the Press Democrat, while on stage, Palacios stated, “I’ve questioned it, but it does not mean I’m anti-vax and anti-science. People should be able to ask questions, but instead, people have been silenced.” 

This is not the first local protest Palacios has participated in. In December, protesters gathered at the Healdsburg City Hall meeting to support the council member when she was not allowed to attend meetings because she was not vaccinated. KSRO reported that Palacios was seen at the center of the protesters. 

The Save Our Sonoma organization that arranged the protest downtown has over 2500 members in Sonoma alone. As stated on their website, “[we are a] multi-partisan citizens that believe in taking action against the tyranny being thrust upon us by our local leadership.”

Licensed Psychologist Dr. Kathy Allard who attended the protest and is a member of the organization, stated that “we should have both sides of the story, benefits, and risks.” She claimed that all the information given to the public, specifically younger adults, is “fear-induced” and that the media does not provide the most accurate knowledge regarding Covid-19. Allard stated that she is not anti-vax but is pro-choice, and her concern about the vaccine is the unknown long-term effects.