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Update: Rally Held In Sonora Against COVID Vaccine Mandates

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Update at 3:50 p.m.: In a written statement, Sonora Police Chief Turu Vanderwiel gave a more detailed account regarding a fight that broke out at a “Freedom Rally” against COVID vaccine mandates at Courthouse Park in Sonora on Monday evening.  The Chief relayed that they found several
people restraining 30-year-old Alexander D. Tischler of Sonora when officers arrived. He added, “Bystanders told the officers that Tischler attempted to strike someone in the head with a camera tripod. When officers were detaining Tischler in handcuffs, a bystander pointed to a fixed, shank-type object and identified it as belonging to

The statement also detailed that “another subject was arrested for obstructing an officer after attempting to leave
the area with potential evidence and then resisting during the detention.” That person was previously identified below as 61-year-old Thomas Tishler. The younger Tischler was booked for felony assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a concealed dirk or dagger. Chief Vanderwiel also noted that “certain aspects of this incident are still being investigated.”

Further information on the rally and arrest is below.

Update written by BJ Hansen at 6 am on 8-17-21: The Sonora Police Department confirms there was a brief fight that broke out at Monday’s Freedom Rally and two apparent counter-protesters were arrested. The PD reports that 30-year-old Alexander Tishler was arrested for assault-related charges and 61-year-old Thomas Tishler was arrested for obstructing officers. District Three Supervisor Anaiah Kirk stated on social media that he also became involved by helping to hold down one of the people who was arrested until police arrived. The police logs indicate the scuffle occurred around 5:20pm.

Original story written by BJ Hansen posted 8-16-21: Sonora, CA — Hundreds were in Courthouse Park in Sonora this afternoon for a “Freedom Rally” where people argued against COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

Organizers indicated it was primarily in response to a new state directive requiring all healthcare workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There was a wide variety of signs reading things like, “You can’t comply your way out of tyranny,” “Stop jab for job,” “I don’t think so: My body my choice,” “Let me call my own shots,” “Essential to expendable,” “Last year hero: this year zero,” and “Freedom not force.”

Many were honking their horns in support of the protestors.

California has also recently announced that all state government workers must either get the vaccine or test weekly. K-12 educators were also recently added to the list. In addition, the Tuolumne County Supervisors are considering a vaccinate or test weekly mandate as well.

Tuolumne County has recently been seeing its highest average daily Covid case rate since the start of the pandemic with the spread of the Delta variant.


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