Ocean Avenue protest will draw 300-400 people Saturday
By Sam Catanzaro
300-400 people are expected to attend an anti-vaccine and mask mandate rally in Santa Monica this weekend.
According to Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) Chief Ramon Batista, on Saturday, January 22 a rally and protest against mask and vaccine mandates is scheduled to take place from noon to 4 p.m.
The event will include a variety of speakers, and police are anticipating approximately 300-400 people in attendance. The organizers of this event have facilitated similar events in Santa Monica in the recent past.
“We did not encounter any incidents of significance then and we do not expect anything different from this event,” Batista said. “Our police department members are in contact with the organizers. They assured us that it is not their intention to be involved in any type of violent or criminal activity.”
“In announcing the name of public safety, we reminded this group about the City’s emergency ordinance prohibiting certain items in the event zone,” Batista added.
Prohibited items that are part of this ordinance include lumber, baseball bats, glass and metal bottles, pipes, aerosol spray, helmets and bricks.
According to Batista, the SMPD has created a comprehensive operational plan ahead of the rally.
“Your police department, in support of our Office Of Emergency Management, has created a comprehensive operational plan deploying a contingent of public safety resources in and around the event space. Even though we do not anticipate any significant issues, our personnel will be in the position to address criminal activity that may occur because of this incident,” Batista said.