HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – Anti-mandate protesters gathered in north suburban Highland Park Sunday. 

The group demonstrated downtown at Port Clinton Square after Highland Park recently adopted a proof-of-vaccination mandate for restaurants.  

Demonstrators said they believe the mandates are doing more harm than good by failing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while hurting local businesses. Some also said they feel the order violates their right to privacy. 

“We know that the mandates aren’t working,” said Joshua Alvarado, with Illinois Standing Against Tyranny. We know that you can still get and transmit Covid even if you are vaccinated. This is not in dispute. So why are you going to force me to do something I don’t want to do?”

A small group of people supporting the mandates counter-protested across the street.   

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering shared a statement with WGN News, saying that the city supports local businesses with grants to offset pandemic-related costs and is eliminating permit fees.     

“Regarding today’s protest and counter-protest, we will always support the First Amendment and the public’s right to peaceably assemble,” the mayor added.