On Monday morning, Boston unions and other protesters sang the national anthem inside of city hall as part of a protest against Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s new COVID-19 mandate. The mandate will require city employees to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus with two doses by February 15, 2022, or lose their jobs. Currently, Boston’s 18,000 city employees have the option of undergoing weekly testing or receiving the coronavirus jab in order to keep working.

In a memo this weekend, Boston Firefighters Local 718 leadership slammed Wu for the new COVID-19 restrictions prior to the official announcement, the Boston Herald reported:

“This is a major change from our current policy, which includes a testing option for our members that have elected not to be vaccinated,” John Soares, president of Boston Firefighters Local 718, wrote in the memo.

“We have notified our attorney of this policy change, and we are in discussions with our brothers and sisters from the other city unions,” he later added. “As you know, this is a complex issue, and it has raised much controversy not only in Boston but across the nation. We are reviewing our legal options and will be meeting with the city’s office of labor relations.”

On Sunday, Wu pushed back on reports of growing union opposition to her mandates, citing public safety:

“We’re in a moment where health must come first — that is for the general public and for each and every one within our workforce in City Hall and across the city of Boston,” the mayor said. “So we’re going to take measures to ensure that everybody is safe and protected, and that Boston will follow the science and the data on what we need to be doing.”

On Monday morning, Boston conservative commentator and former Trump campaign advisor Louis Murray tweeted that union protests were beginning outside of city hall, led by Boston’s First Responders Union.

“@MayorWu the honeymoon is over! No mandate #Vaxpassports for #Boston,” Murray tweeted. First Responders @BostonFRU Fights back for #CivilRights …”

Boston Herald reporter Erin Tiernan also noted that Wu announced that “Starting Jan. 15 proof of at least one dose of COVID vaccine will be required and two doses by Feb. 15 to enter certain indoor spaces incl: – Restaurants, bars and nightclubs – Gyms and indoor fitness centers – Theaters and sports venues. ”

After Wu spoke to reporters, Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, attempted to take the podium but by that time the union protest had moved indoors, where union members reportedly sang the national anthem so loudly that she was hard to hear.

“Protesters are now inside, where they are singing the Star-Spangled Banner and breaking into chants almost completely drowning out Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission,” Tiernan tweeted.

Video of the protest can be seen here:

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