Another anti-vaccine rally fizzles

24 Feb

A handful of “outraged” anti-vaccine activists occupied part of the sidewalk at the corner to 6th Ave. and 52nd St. today and listened to other angry anti-vaccine activists promote an anti-vaccine book and denounce Bill Gates.

Witnesses report 18 participants at an event which promoters predicted would draw “tens of thousands” of parents supposedly angry at the portrayal of the people they follow. One New York-based anti-vaccine group’s press release  proclaimed “Bill Gates: We are not Child Killers” and read:

The protest and press conference against Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates challenges his controversial remarks on national TV that those who question vaccine safety “kill children.” The attendees are demanding an immediate apology from Gates. The press conference will take place outside the Microsoft Executive Offices at 1290 Avenue of the Americas (corner of 52nd Street) in Manhattan. These groups will hold additional protests in Manhattan, Long Beach and Omaha where Gates will be speaking publically.

Gates’s actual words, spoken in a February 4 CNN interview, were aimed at leaders in the anti-vaccine movement who mislead parents into leaving their children vulnerable to dangerous diseases.

Well, Dr. Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it’s an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn’t have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts — you know, they, they kill children. It’s a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.

At least one anti-vaccine press release called on “tens of thousands of outraged parents” to participate in a multi-city event.

The rally was organized by Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland, authors of Vaccine Epidemic, which has sold about 1,300 copies. Holland is an anti-vaccine lawyer. Habakus is an anti-vaccine activist who can be seen here on stage with a guy who sang “Vaccine Gestapo” at last year’s anti-vaccine rally in Chicago’s Grant Park. Sample lyrics:

They have swastikas on their shoulders
They’re such patriotic soldiers
They’re like a militia in Montana
They’re a government agency in Atlanta
Vaccine gestapo! Vaccine gestapo!
Vaccine gestapo! Vaccine gestapo!

That event drew about 100 participants to hear disgraced former gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield denounce vaccines.

A spokesperson for Gates emailed us today to say “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes in the strong evidence behind the efficacy and safety of vaccines. There is overwhelming medical consensus that autism is not caused by vaccines.”

The southeast corner of 6th Ave. and 52nd St. in Manhattan where not much happened today.

64 Responses to “Another anti-vaccine rally fizzles”

  1. AutismNewsBeat March 2, 2011 at 17:56 #

    Free online newsletter subscribers is my guess.

  2. Broken Link March 3, 2011 at 03:02 #

    And, unfazed by the low turnout of the first effort, they are doing it again. But now they are doing it on behalf of 100,000 concerned citizens. It will be streaming live. I wonder if they will get more than 18 people this time?

    Vaccine Safety and Autism Advocacy Organizations To Denounce U.S. Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling: Family of Hannah Bruesewitz Speaks Out, First Major News Conference Post-Decision

    Press Conference Thursday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m. at the U.S. Supreme Court

    (Washington, D.C.) Russ and Robalee Bruesewitz, parents of Hannah Bruesewitz, along with vaccine safety and autism leaders Mary Holland, Esq. and Louise Kuo Habakus will hold a press conference on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. They will denounce the Court’s ruling last week in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. Vaccine-injured children are now denied the right to sue for defectively designed vaccines in civil court.

    The Supreme Court’s decision will erode public confidence in childhood vaccines. On behalf of over 100,000 concerned citizens, advocates, and professionals, these leaders urgently call for vaccine policy reform.

    Where: U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C

    When: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

    Organizations that signed an amicus brief on behalf of Hannah Bruesewitz: Age of Autism; Autism Action Network; Autism One; Autism File; Center for Personal Rights; Citizens for Health; Coalition for Mercury-Free Medicine; The Coalition for Safe Minds; the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA); Generation Rescue; International Medical Council on Vaccination; National Autism Association; National Economic and Social Rights Initiative; National Gulf War Resource Center; National Vaccine Information Center; New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice; New York Alliance for Vaccination Choice; NoMercury; Pandemic Response Project; Schafer Autism Report; Talk About Curing Autism; Truth About Gardasil; Veterans for Common Sense.

    UPDATE: It will be streaming live:

    • Sullivan March 3, 2011 at 03:33 #

      “They will denounce the Court’s ruling last week in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. Vaccine-injured children are now denied the right to sue for defectively designed vaccines in civil court.”

      Isn’t the court’s decision a statement that people with alleged vaccine injury (adults and children) have not had this right since the 1986 Vaccine Act?

  3. Broken Link March 3, 2011 at 03:07 #

    Note that the entire last part of the message was supposed to be in the blockquote.

    • Sullivan March 3, 2011 at 03:30 #

      Broken Link,

      I tool the liberty of editing the comment

  4. Ted March 3, 2011 at 15:07 #

    KH and MH seem to make sport of twisting the English language, and misreading Supreme Court decisions. Pity, coming from a law professor from a purportedly “good” law school, who has two prominent medical scientists as parents, a brother who is an immunological chief at NIH, and an uncle who was a chairman of … a BIG PHARMA! This so-called “legal” patina, as well as calling public health advocates “vaccine gestapo” (when the authors called for a “reasonable dialogue”) is so disingenuous.
    They apparently take comfort in their anger. Sad. It is a waste of their intelligence and cerebrally slothful to find scapegoats. Their pain is indeed evident- they’ve borne children in upper-class circumstances, and to see that they will not attain the dreams set for them is indeed wretchedly painful. But their solution is so, so wrong- and will result in the deaths of many who will, in their fear and anger, find an easy scapegoat. I could be tempted to call it Munich 1933, but I will not stoop to their level- especially when their efforts ought to go toward research to determine the TRUE causes of this and provide a science-based solution.

  5. Elsie Venner March 4, 2011 at 02:38 #

    No really, I bet a TON of people planned to come.

    But then they got measles.

  6. February 7, 2014 at 17:30 #

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