Video by Oliya Scootercaster, a freelance journalist shows the diverse group of people without masks crowded into a Staten Island Mall food court.
Many are seen in Trump paraphernalia. A man waved an American flag, while the crowd sang “U-S.-A!” U-S.-A!
“Everybody, go eat! This is what we are here for! One protester shouts, “F— Joe Biden!”
As soon as they are seated at the table, the crowd shouts “F— Joe Biden !” “My body!” “My choice!”
” We shouldn’t carry papers or show papers, because we live here in America. We’re the land of the free,” a female demonstrator told Scootercaster in an interview.
“I don’t like experiments,” an American flag waver told Scootercaster. “Whatever happened to ‘my body, my choice?'”
New York City residents and visitors are required to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, gyms and shows.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the city as the first in the nation to take this approach. The city launched the policy – dubbed the “Key to NYC” – on Aug. 16 and began enforcing it on Sept. 13.
Scootercaster posted a follow-up video Sunday chastising the reporting about her initial videos. According to her, the crowd didn’t break into security like some media outlets reported.
She stated that the protestors were not required to present vaccine cards despite signs at the entrance.
John Matland, 36, who organized the demonstration and runs the Instagram page “We the People are the News,” told Fox News the aim of the protest was to show people that the vaccine mandate is not being enforced.
Staten Island Mall (Instagram/@WeThePeopleAreTheNews)
“There were multiple levels to what we were accomplishing,” Matland said. Matland stated that the goal was to stimulate the local economy and encourage people to shop afterwards. The food court, in particular, would see an increase in money and support. This would prove that it is impossible to enforce and there are no legal avenues for doing so. We were demonstrating that even if someone walked into the room and sat down they would not be stopped. We weren’t.
Fox News has reached out to Staten Island Mall’s property owner Brookfield Properties and will update accordingly.
Fox Business’ Brooke Lewitas contributed to this report.