Clark County residents among those who gathered for ‘Facts Not Fear’ rally in Olympia

Rep. Jim Walsh speaks to citizens gathered for the “Facts Not Fear’’ rally held Monday in Olympia. Photo courtesy Leah Anaya
Rep. Jim Walsh speaks to citizens gathered for the “Facts Not Fear’’ rally held Monday in Olympia. Photo courtesy Leah Anaya

Informed Choice Washington hosted the rally at which citizens let lawmakers know how they feel about potential future mandates and lockdowns

Leah Anaya
For Clark County Today

Monday (Jan. 9) was the first day of the 2023 legislative session in Washington state. Before the lawmakers raised their right hands and swore on oath to uphold the state and federal Constitutions, a group gathered at the bottom of the steps of the Capitol to make sure those lawmakers knew how their constituents felt about potential future mandates and lockdowns.

Informed Choice Washington hosted the “Facts Not Fear “rally at which citizens displayed signs such as “Early COVID treatment saves lives,” “COVID-19 vaccine makers are exempt from liability,” “Abolish emergency powers,” and “No mandates, quarantines, lockdowns, & dictatorship.” Several lawmakers stopped at the rally to speak to the crowd before heading inside to get sworn in, many discussing the bills they plan to submit and/or support during this session.  

After the swearing-in ceremony and when the House and Senate adjourned to their caucuses, Informed Choice Washington volunteers delivered a copy of the book Turtles All The Way Down: Vaccine Science and Myth by Zoey O’Toole and Mary Holland J.D. to each lawmaker. The intent behind the rally and the gift of the books was, according to the group, to tell elected officials that, “We the PEOPLE will not accept a ‘new normal’ of mandates, quarantines, or lockdowns. We will not surrender our republic or our unalienable rights.” 

Clark County resident and Informed Choice Washington leader Bob Runnells presents Rep. Jim Walsh with Turtles All the Way Down book. Photo courtesy Leah Anaya
Clark County resident and Informed Choice Washington leader Bob Runnells presents Rep. Jim Walsh with Turtles All the Way Down book. Photo courtesy Leah Anaya

Five lawmakers spoke during the rally- Representatives Jim Walsh and Cyndy Jacobsen and Senators Jeff Wilson, Phil Fortunado, and Perry Dozier. Each elected official outlined what they would be focusing on in the coming year in order to further causes such as medical freedom and parents rights. 

Rep. Walsh discussed his concern with many bills that were pre-filed this session that he said “chip away” at the rights of citizens. “They chip away at your rights,” he said. “Chip, chip, chip away at your personal freedoms. The current buzzword they like is ‘mass-disabling event.’ If there’s what they call a mass-disabling event, they will suspend civil liberties. They will give what they call ‘free money.’ They will do all kinds of things that are not Constitutional and are not consistent with the spirit of a free people.” 

Rep. Jacobsen has introduced a new bill that would see state workers rehired who were previously fired for declining to receive a COVID shot. She said our state is facing a shortage of workers due to the mass firings, which also had an adverse effect on many families. She received motivation for the bill from a family she knows who had both parents lose their job – the wife was a nurse and the husband a firefighter – due to their opting to not get a shot. Her main reason for authoring the bill though, she said, is “philosophical. I don’t think the government has any business incentivizing and even requiring a medical procedure. They just don’t. I wouldn’t dream of telling private companies what to do, but this bill certainly encourages them to rehire their previously fired workers for this reason as well.”  

Sen. Jeff Wilson said that he is hopeful this session that lawmakers will be able to focus on the concept of “truth in science, or science that’s truthful.” He expressed the importance of informed consent in terms of medical procedures and shots both for the person’s health and the observation of their Constitutional rights. 

“There’s no such thing as mandates on freedom,” Sen. Wilson said.  

When Sen. Phil Fortunado spoke, he mentioned Senate Bill 5139, which he pre-filed and focuses on the rights of those who have elected not to receive a COVID shot. 

“This bill says not only can you not fire me and not discriminate against me, but if you did fire me, I want my job back and I want you to pay me for it!” He also discussed another type of bill he will be introducing. “The other side [of the political aisle] is not going to go along with anything that says anything about parental rights. But our children have rights. So I’m going to be sponsoring the Childhood Rights Act. This act says [to schools], ‘You can’t be teaching our young kids all this sexual stuff in school. They can barely graduate with reading, writing, and arithmetic, and you’re over here trying to indoctrinate them with all this sexual nonsense.’ They deserve a right to their childhood.” 

Sen. Fortunado said he would be doing a press conference on the bill in the near future. 

For the third time, Sen. Dozier will be working to pass a parental rights bill this session. “I haven’t been able to do this the last two years, but I’m hoping this year … that we will be able to get enough people to come here and rally … so their voices can be heard.” 

A registered nurse who was fired for declining to receive a COVID shot, Alicia Summerson, was also present and spoke to the crowd, along with Jane Jin, who is the president of the China Democracy and Human Rights Alliance.

Clark county residents and Informed Choice Washington leaders Katie Bauer and Bob Runnells attended Monday’s “Facts Not Fear’’ rally. Photo courtesy Leah Anaya
Clark county residents and Informed Choice Washington leaders Katie Bauer and Bob Runnells attended Monday’s “Facts Not Fear’’ rally. Photo courtesy Leah Anaya

Jin passionately spoke about her past involvement with the Chinese Communist Party. Jin was born in China and served in the Chinese military at 16 years old. 

“I experienced the Chinese Communist regime,” she said, adding that she was involved in the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. “I saw how they controlled people, how they used the media to oppress the Chinese people. And now I see it happening here in our homes. This should never happen here.”  

Jin said that a large part of the problems we are facing today is that there is a network of communist spies from China who are working in America to dismantle our society, starting with our children in our schools. “We had a goal when I was in the Chinese military: To take down the United States and the United Kingdom. The two capitalism leaders.” 

“Washingtonians, why are we here? We are fighting for our freedom,” she said. “We the people must be against communism. We will have no communism in Washington. CCP is the root of the evil.” 

All those who spoke encouraged people to pay attention to the next 105 days of the legislative session and to contact their lawmakers to let them know how they feel about the many bills being presented and discussed this year. 

“This is not a new fight,” Rep. Walsh said. “It’s a fight we will always be engaged in, so do it happily and with patience and confidence. In the end, those of us who defend individual liberty will prevail.” 


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Sylvia
Sylvia
19 days ago

Congratulations, and a heartfelt THANK YOU for leading by example!
It takes courage, determination, and clear unbiased thinking.
You give hope to the world.

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