Opponents of COVID-19 restrictions rally at state Capitol

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered outside the Minnesota Capitol to protest COVID-19 vaccines and face covering requirements.

Organizers billed Saturday’s event as a “medical freedom” rally. Many in the crowd held up signs criticizing vaccines, masks and mandates and chanting slogans such as “My body, my choice.”

About a half-dozen Republican legislators and two candidates for governor addressed the group that stood together without wearing masks. The statewide mask mandate ended in May but many employers have taken matters into their own hands as case numbers surge across the state.

Speakers objected to the idea of carrying vaccine passports and many signed a petition to ban them.