Credit: Ryan P. Cruz

A rally “for freedom” against public health mandates meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 was held Saturday, with a march from Stearns Wharf to De la Guerra Plaza.

The event was organized by local group Stand Up Santa Barbara and was part of a Worldwide Rally for Freedom in more than 200 cities across the world. The group of around 100 protesters was escorted up State Street by city police and could be heard chanting “My body, my choice!” and “Fire Dr. Fauci!” during the march to the plaza, where a band was playing and several booths were set up distributing information.

This comes as the city and country are in the grips of another wave of COVID cases due to the several active variants. The CDC and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department recommend masks be worn by everyone indoors and in crowded public settings with close contact with others who may not be vaccinated.

At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff is working around the clock to cover every aspect of this crisis — sorting truth from rumor.  Our reporters and editors are asking the tough questions of our public health officials and spreading the word about how we can all help one another. The community needs us — now more than ever — and we need you  in order to keep doing the important work we do. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.


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