Tim Wheeler speaks at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18 in Sequim. Wheeler is the spokesperson for Voices for Health and Healing. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Tim Wheeler speaks at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18 in Sequim. Wheeler is the spokesperson for Voices for Health and Healing. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Saturday protest backs health measures, candidates

  • Wednesday, September 22, 2021 2:26pm
  • News

A rally on Sept. 18 saw citizens show support for public health officers and some city council candidates, and to oppose the Sequim City Council’s resolution opposing public health mandates.

“We love Dr. Berry,” said Lee Strucker, as he held a sign on a corner. “She’s doing such a great and dangerous job.”

Diana Erickson said, “Thank you to Dr. Berry for protecting people who don’t have a choice.”

Said Bill May, “We are supporting the slate of people for City Council to replace the ones who are supported by the QAnon mayor.”

Members of Voices for Health and Healing, Concerned Citizens of Clallam County, Indivisible Sequim and Sequim Good Governance League were involved in organizing, promoting and attending the show of support at the intersection of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue.

According to Brian Grad of Voices for Health and Healing, at least 50 people attended.

In an email before the rally, Grad said, “We are responding to the Sequim City Council Resolution defying the Public Health Officer’s authority. This is a serious breach of Governor Inslee’s delegation of authority to local Public Health Boards to help manage the response to Covid-19.

“Dr. Allison Berry received her training in Public Health and Epidemiology from John Hopkins University, one of the country’s most prestigious institutions for medical Doctors. We are incredibly fortunate to have a person of her stature leading the Clallam County Health Board. It is simply astonishing that some people would want her fired and have made threatening overtures to her.”

Participants in the rally waved signs at people passing in cars and some made a short march on Washington Street. Toward the end of the rally, organizers and politicians made speeches declaring their allegiance to the rule of law, support of health experts and support for those candidates who they believe will uphold them.

People on the sidewalks also spoke of trying to keep their immune compromised friends and family safe. One spoke of being rejected from the Forks hospital when her husband had a stroke, another of her 97-year-old mother falling and bashing her head and not being admitted to the emergency room.

“I’m here because my husband had a heart transplant last year,” said one woman, “I’m trying to keep him safe.”

Grad said, “It’s such a divisive issue and I don’t know why it should be. I don’t know why medicine became so political. Getting a vaccine is a social and civic responsibility.”

Tim Wheeler speaks at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18 in Sequim. Wheeler is the spokesperson for Voices for Health and Healing. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen
Bill May and Kevin May hold up hand-lettered signs at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18. Kevin May says, “I think it’s important to get city council members that are elected by the people, not appointed by the council…. We have these really partisan city council members who were kind of forcing things on the city and dividing.” Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Bill May and Kevin May hold up hand-lettered signs at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18. Kevin May says, “I think it’s important to get city council members that are elected by the people, not appointed by the council…. We have these really partisan city council members who were kind of forcing things on the city and dividing.” Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

“I want life to get back to normal,” said Natalie Elfant, holding a green sign on the right, “and we can’t do that until people get vaccinated and get rid of COVID and its variants.” She and Pauline, left, attend a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18. “I was in the military for 27 years,” said Pauline, “and I served my country and I really put my life on the line for the citizens of the United States…. why can’t we do something simple like wear a mask or get one vaccine to save other lives? That’s all we have to do.” Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

“I want life to get back to normal,” said Natalie Elfant, holding a green sign on the right, “and we can’t do that until people get vaccinated and get rid of COVID and its variants.” She and Pauline, left, attend a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18. “I was in the military for 27 years,” said Pauline, “and I served my country and I really put my life on the line for the citizens of the United States…. why can’t we do something simple like wear a mask or get one vaccine to save other lives? That’s all we have to do.” Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Attendees of a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18 hold signs supporting their favorite candidates for local office. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Attendees of a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18 hold signs supporting their favorite candidates for local office. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Richard Goette holds an anti-conspiracy sign on the corner of Washington St. and Sequim Ave. during a rally on Sept. 18 in Sequim. “We’re proud to be here in support of Dr. Allison Berry. We are very appreciative of everything she’s done to protect our community.”

Richard Goette holds an anti-conspiracy sign on the corner of Washington St. and Sequim Ave. during a rally on Sept. 18 in Sequim. “We’re proud to be here in support of Dr. Allison Berry. We are very appreciative of everything she’s done to protect our community.”

Honeybee Burns holds a sign to remind citizens of the right to vote at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18. Burns says that her family has a long history of seeking societal improvement and equity for all citizens. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

Honeybee Burns holds a sign to remind citizens of the right to vote at a rally in Sequim on Sept. 18. Burns says that her family has a long history of seeking societal improvement and equity for all citizens. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen

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