On Friday, several dozen Disney World employees led a march through the park to protest a vaccine requirement for all salaried and union workers at the amusement complex.
The following day was the last day that employees could get their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to be considered fully vaccinated by the October 22 deadline.
The protest, WOFL-TV reported, went up and down Lake Buena Vista Boulevard through the middle of Florida’s Disney World.
Organizer Nick Caturano has worked at the park for 16 years and told The Miami Herald that he hopes to bring attention to the issue of medical freedom and constitutional rights.
“People are free to get this vaccine if they feel it’s going to be the best thing for them but to force people to get the vaccine, that’s another story,” he explained.
More than two dozen people marched near Disney World on Friday to protest the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cast members. pic.twitter.com/qcPQdp0O5T
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Caturano also told WOFL that he and his fellow concerned employees take the virus seriously but that many nonetheless “have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.” For his part, he is immunocompromised and objects to the vaccines for religious reasons.
“Disney employees are resisting the forced vaccinations for a variety of reasons including health concerns, religious beliefs, natural immunity, and a principled commitment to maintaining control over their own health care,” Caturano told the station.
“So many cast members felt alone and felt like they were the only ones who thought this was wrong,” he said, explaining that he’s received emails from international Disney cast members who feel the same but are afraid to speak up. “I think we were made to feel that way on purpose. But we have connected now, and we are pushing back.”
He also believes that many of his own Florida co-workers feel the same, but were afraid to join the protest.
“I don’t want to lose my job,” Caturano said. “I love my job, but I’m also more afraid that if I don’t speak up now, where does it stop?”
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