Home The News Albany Vaccine Rally 9/29

Our voices were heard in Albany!

An estimated 700 health care workers, activists, and concerned citizens gathered on the steps of the state house at East Capitol Park on Tuesday, September 29, 2009, starting at 10:00 am for a peaceful but passionate three-hour rally to protest the recent Executive Order from the New York State Department of Health requiring seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccination of all health care and related workers in New York State. 

The speakers included a medical doctor, two attorneys, several nurses and health care technicians, parents, health freedom advocates including: Kevin McCashion, Heather Walker, Judy McQueen, RN, Rita Palma, Sue Fields, RN, Alan Phillips, JD, Cheryl Allen, Mary Coyle, DI, HOM, Deb Gerhardt, RN, Louise Kuo Habakus, MA, HHP, Bonnie Koshofer, OTR/L, Cookie Geller, Gary Null, PhD, Michael B. Schachter, MD, John Gilmore, and Ralph Fucetola, JD.

Video Footage of the Entire Rally:

  1. Kevin McCashion
  2. Heather Walker
  3. Gary Null, PhD (part 1)
  4. Sue Fields, RN
  5. Rita Palma
  6. Alan Phillips, JD
  7. Judy McQueen, RN
  8. Cheryl Allen
  9. Mary Coyle, DI, Hom
  10. Deb Gerhardt, RN
  11. Louise Kuo Habakus, MA
  12. Bonnie Koshofer, OTR/L (part 1)
  13. Bonnie Koshofer, OTR/L (part 2)
  14. Gary Null, PhD (part 2)
  15. Gary Null, PhD (part 3)
  16. Cookie Geller, rehab aide
  17. Kevin McCashion
  18. Michael B. Schachter, MD
  19. John Gilmore
  20. Ralph Fucetola, JD
  21. final speaker

Gary Null led a contingent to meet with Deputy Wendy Saunders, a representative from Governor Patterson's office.  This appointment was canceled at the last minute and replaced by a career Department of Health bureaucrat who offered a restatement of the party line and was unable to respond to hard hitting questions about the scientific justification of flu vaccine safety and efficacy.  They hand delivered a copy of the “letter petition" for Governor Patterson.

During the rally, hundreds of attendees lined up to donate to the New York State Healthcare Workers' Legal Fund organized by the Autism Action Network. Money raised will go towards securing legal counsel to file an injunction in New York State courts to stop the mandate.  Check back soon for progress updates towards our goal and details on how you can donate to this fund.

The initial announcement of the Executive Order provided for termination of all affected health care workers who did not comply with the mandate by November 30.  The Department of Health is now saying that termination will be at the discretion of employers, with some indicating they will opt for job reassignment instead.  If termination is not required by the state, then it becomes a condition of employment that falls under the umbrella of collective bargaining in a union workplace.  This removes one of the most significant excuses the unions have used for opting not to challenge the order in the courts, and it shifts the burden to the employer.  Can union members see the attempt by the state of New York to "hit and run," by creating this huge controversy and now seeking to dodge ultimate responsibility?   As you read the press, you will notice that Health Commissioner Daines is doing all the talking and Governor Patterson is conspicuously silent.  We hope that all leaders, union and political, will rise to the challenge that leadership demands. 

Last year, it was mandated flu shots in the state of New Jersey, for all children 6 to 59 months of age as a requirement for daycare and preschool.  This year, it is mandated flu shots for health care workers in New York.  Next year, it could be you.  Be certain that this is a trend that will not stop until we get out, into the streets, and stop it.  We ask our friends and supporters across the country to vocally express support, talk with your press, write letters to the Editor of your local papers, and help us to mobilize nationwide because health freedom and medical rights are a concern of every single American.

If you are unsure about where you stand on this topic, start by reading my Swine Flu Alert and article on Vaccination Choices.  You might also listen to infectious disease expert Dr. Kent Holtorf on Fox News as he tells America that he is more concerned about the H1N1 vaccine than the disease, and, if given the choice, you would prefer to contract swine flu versus seasonal flu.

1199SEIU is the largest local union in the world, representing more than 300,000 members and retirees in New York, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts.  Read 1199SEIU's position statement on the mandatory flu vaccines for its members:

New York State health officials have issued regulations making it mandatory that healthcare workers who directly provide patient care be given vaccinations against H1N1 flu virus. Our union, which encourages members to obtain flu vaccinations, has taken exception to the mandatory regulation because it violates employees’ right to decline based on religious, cultural, philosophical or other personal reasons.

(excerpted in part from notes provided by John Gilmore)

Albany Rally and NYS Mandated Flu Vaccines Press

Notice of Public Hearing on H1N1 Influenza (Assembly Standing Committees) 10/13/09
Health Workers File Suit Against H1N1 (WETM 18) 10/13/09
Albany Judge Blocks Vaccination Rule (New York Times) 10/16/09
Paterson Suspends Flu Vaccination Rule (New York Times) 10/22/09
State Ends Flu Shot Mandate (Times Union) 10/23/09
Paterson Suspends Requirement of Flu Vaccination For Healthcare Workers (WNYC) 10/23/09

Rally Coverage
Forced Vaccination With Lou Dobbs (CNN)
Health Care Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Vaccination (CBS News)
Health Care Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Vaccine (News 10 WTEN)
Health Care Workers Rally (CBS 6 WRGB)
Health Care Workers Rally Against Flu Shot Mandate (Capital News 9)
Health Care Workers Rally Against Flu Shots (News Channel 13)
Health Care Workers Rally Against Flu Vaccine Mandate (NY 1)

Health Workers Angry Over Mandated Swine Flu Shots (Gazette)
Know Swine Flu Risks (Fox 5)
Protesting Mandated Flu Shots (CBS 6 WRGB)
Tracking H1N1 With Shepard Smith (Fox News)
Vaccine Protest (Fox 23 News)

Pre-Rally Coverage:

Rally in Albany Tuesday Over H1N1 Flu Shot Debate (WOR News Talk Radio 710) 9/28/09
Mandatory Flu Vaccination Splits Workers (Newsday) 9/27/09

Mandatory Flu Vaccination Riles Health Care Workers - They'll March (WHAM 13) 9/24/09
Nurses Plan to Rally To Protest Mandatory Swine Flu Shot (Prison Planet) 9/22/09
LI Nurses to Rally Against Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccines (Newsday) 9/21/09
Rally flyer

In related news:

Mandatory Flu Vaccination For NY Health Workers Is Criticized (NYT) 10/13/09
Nurses Move To Stop Mandatory Flu Shots (KIRO Radio) 10/1/09
Chicago Hospital Requires Flu Vaccines For All Employees (ABC) 9/29/09

65% of French Nurses Will Refuse "Swine Flu" Vaccine Over Safety Concerns 9/25/09
Docs Talk the Talk But Do They Get Flu Shots?  (ABC) 12/8/08
WTEN Online Poll 1) { finalAction += '#' + faction[1]; } pollActionUpdated = 1; form.action = finalAction; } function detectPollCookie(poll) { var pollCookie = 'Poll' + poll; var pollDiv = 'WN' + pollCookie + '-'; if (GetCookie(pollCookie)) { document.getElementById(pollDiv + 'choices').style.display = 'none'; document.getElementById(pollDiv + 'results').style.display = ''; } else { document.getElementById(pollDiv + 'results').style.display = 'none'; document.getElementById(pollDiv + 'choices').style.display = ''; } } //-->
Do you think health workers should have to get the Swine Flu Vaccine? Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results as of 10/7/09:
Yes, they are the first line of defense 18%
No, they should be allowed to choose 82%


  1. Send me your photos, video and stories.

  2. Sign the petition.

  3. Donate to the New York State Healthcare Legal Fund to remedy the glaring absence of legal representation by the NY State healthcare unions.  The Autism Action Network Coalition is collecting funds to hire a legal team to file an injunction in the NY State courts to protect healthcare workers' and students' rights. 

  4. New Yorkers and friends, contact legislators and other political leaders.  New Yorkers click HERE to send an e-mail message to your state senator, assembly people, Commissioner of Health Richard Daines, and his boss, NY State Governor David Patterson to demand that this illegal action cease immediately. Non-New Yorkers can call Governor Patterson at (518) 474-8390 and Commissioner Daines at (518) 474-2011.

  5. Post this link on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

  6. Send this media release to your press contacts and everyone you know.  Start with these press lists: Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and Slash Coleman. Check back here often.  An updated media release version with speakers and new participating organizations will be added.  This will be major news and we have received confirmation of national and local media, including Fox News.


Age of Autism
Albany 912, We Suround Them
Albany Campaign For Liberty
Albany Tea Party Patriots
Autism Action Coalition
Autism One
Citizens For A GMO-Free World
Coalition For Informed Choice
Developmental Delay Resources
Gary Null Associates
Health Freedom USA
Holistic Moms Network
Holistic Pediatric Association
Homefirst Health Services
Homefront Patriots
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
Life Health Choices
My Kids My Choice
National Autism Association
National Vaccine Information Center
New York Health Care Concerned Citizens Group
New York Liberty Council
Oathkeepers Meetup Group
Primary Challenge
Real Mama
Safe Minds
Schachter Center For Complementary Medicine
Talk About Curing Autism
Upstate Conservative Coalition
We The People

We were joined by busloads of supporters including affected health care workers, vaccine rights activists, Constitutional defense groups and concerned citizens.  If you would like to add your organization to the list of supporters, send me an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Signs and Banners Spotted at the Rally:

Because I Lost My Right To Choose, It Is My Job That I Will Lose Frown
Deluded Daines - Dose Of Reality
Don't Let Government Stick It To You
Forced Shots Violates Our Civil Rights
Freedom Of Choice
Government Mandates = Bad Medicine
Health Care Professionals Are Not Government Property
How Will You Staff The Hospitals Once You Fire All Of Us???
I Am A Nurse, Not A Guinea Pig For $s
I Have The Flu Blues Because I Lost My Right To Choose
I Lose My Job If I Don't Get The Flu Shot
I Trust My Nurse.  Why Don't You?
I'm More Afraid Of The Vaccine Than The Flu
Informed Consent For All
Inmates Have More Rights Than Nurses
Is This The 21st Century?  Tuskegee Study Again
Mandatory Vaccination Is Unconstitutional
My Body... My Choice... Hear My Voice!  No Mandatory Flu Shot!
My Patients Have The Right To Refuse Drugs... But I Don't??
New York Police State - Be Vaccinated Or Be Terminated
No Forced Flu Vaccines!
No Flu Shot, No Job
No Mandated (Forced) Flu Shots
No Mandation Of The Vaccination
No Means No
Our Bodies Our Choice
Our Health Sold For Profit
Shot In My Arm, You're To Blame, You Give Freedom A Bad Name!
Stop Forced H1N1 Vaccine Now
Stop Selling Fear!  We Don't Need Flu Vaccines.
Stop The Shot
The Drug Companies Are Free From Liability.  Why?
Unions!  Where Are You?
Unproven, Untested, Unsafe, Unfair!!
Vaccinate Or Terminate?
Vote You Out
We Are Losing Our Rights!
We Deserve Choice Over Our Bodies
We Want Choice And Our Job
We're Not Your Lab Rats!
Why Does Our Government Want Us Vaccinated So Bad?

Photo Credits:
Louise Kuo Habakus
Manette Loudon
Sabeeha Rehman

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"Life and health are about choices."

- Suzanne Somers, Knockout, page 5


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