COVID Anti-Vaxx Protesters in this state are being threatened with jail time.

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COVID Anti-Vaxx Protesters in this state are being threatened with jail time.

Truck drivers who block highways in Ohio to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates risk going to jail, according to a county prosecutor.

“Let me be clear: attempting to shut down a highway will result in prosecution. On Twitter over the weekend, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said, “I don’t care what you’re protesting or how angry you are.”

He continued, “The 1st Amendment does not give you a free pass to obstruct emergency services and put police officers in danger.”

Let me be clear: attempting to shut down a highway will result in prosecution. It makes no difference to me what you’re protesting or how enraged you are.

The 1st Amendment does not give you carte blanche to obstruct emergency services or jeopardize law enforcement.

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The warning came as drivers were anticipated to protest on Monday as part of the “Patriot Shutdown,” a social media campaign to shut down specified highway mile marks in protest of employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccines.

Those caught blocking traffic, according to Deters, a Republican, will face penalties.

“Those who claim to support law enforcement should know that law enforcement is not on your side. In a second statement, Deters stated, “This would pose a major threat to our first responders and the community at large.” “I’ve always believed in a citizen’s freedom to protest under the First Amendment. However, this is both illegal and reckless. It is not going to be tolerated.”

The Ohio State Highway Patrol stated they were keeping an eye on the protests, but there were no signs of them taking place as of Monday morning. “At this time,” an agency spokesman added, “there are no known issues.” The Cincinnati Police Department is likewise keeping an eye on the potential protests.

Vaccine mandates have sparked outrage across the country, even as the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta strain spreads.

President Joe Biden said on Sept. 9 that the Department of Labor is working on a pair of executive orders that would require mandatory vaccinations for organizations with 100 or more employees, as well as testing employees at least once a week. The White House estimates that the mandate will touch over 80 million private-sector employees.

According to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard, 53.76 percent of the state’s population, or approximately 6.2 million people, has been vaccinated.

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