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Dozens protest Pueblo County Courthouse Lighting Ceremony honoring health care workers

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO)-- A group of 30-40 protestors gathered outside the Pueblo County Courthouse Tuesday evening to protest a lighting ceremony held for health care workers.

The Facebook group "Pueblo Stands up" organized the protest. In the protest invitation, they say, "The audacity and self satisfaction of this ploy is disgusting to many of us who have lost jobs due to the mandates they have helped force onto we the people."

Pueblo County Government did not comment on the protest. Instead, officials told KRDO they wanted the history of the annual lighting ceremony to be remembered.

"I think it is interesting now twenty years later we are using this event to help bring the community together again during the pandemic," Pueblo County Public Information Officer, Adam Uhernik, said.

This is the 20th anniversary of the Pueblo County lighting ceremony. This year the ceremony was dedicated to the sacrifice that first responders and health care workers have made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"On the health care side of it, the nurses and the doctors that went into work every day to help patients. Not only those that were experiencing COVID-19 but other patients as well that had other conditions at that time," Uhernik said.

Tuesday, the lighting ceremony included the largest firework show in the history of the event. Fireworks were synchronized with music and went off without a hitch.

While the ceremony honored health care workers, protestors demanded officials acknowledge the health care workers who were let go after refusing to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

In early November, 56 employees were terminated from Parkview Medical Center for refusing to get the vaccine. The vaccine requirement for health care workers was handed down by the state, not Pueblo County.

During the protest, organizers invited Colorado Governor hopeful Danielle Neuschwanger to speak to the crowd.

"Medical freedoms is something I have been very passionate about. I am also one hundred percent informed consent, so I am not anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine," Neuschwanger said.

The Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners can issue proclamations against the state mandate, but that would be largely symbolic, without the power to change the mandate. Neuschwanger wants the employees, who were terminated, voices to be heard.

"It is a slap in the face to them and so for them to come out and honor first responders. I think we should always honor our first responders but put your money where your mouth is and really step up," Neuschwanger said.

Pueblo Police told KRDO they deployed additional resources to the lighting ceremony out of caution. The protest remained peaceful.

Author Profile Photo

Sean Rice

Sean is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO. Learn more about him here.



  1. We can’t afford to have any more ignorant health care workers if we value the health of our nation. People who can’t understand the value of the services they provide have no place in a profession as important as healthcare.

    1. There is NO data to support that healthcare workers who are not vaccinated cause any issues at the facilities they work at.
      There is data that shows after the layoffs that the hospitals had to close wings or numbers of beds because they didn’t have the staff to man them. So people who needed a hospital bed could not get one because of the staffing shortage so they were turned away or sent to another hospital.
      The staff that was the heroes of the pandemic and working long hours all the sudden became a zero.
      Just like with your post people all the sudden are so polarized over shot or no shot and not even paying attention to the real data or evidence to support or refute their case/viewpoint. That is the true ignorance of this whole situation. Has nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with polarized politics. Saying everyone who does not get the shot is ignorant is a bold statement by you. If Biden said everyone should jump off a cliff you would run and dive off without a second thought. Why? Because you prove time and time again you are a blue party man and think everything they do is great and anyone who does not agree or opposes that is a ignorant dumb individual who is the scourge of the US. Sad to see people like you just spew hate like your comment above and many others. Really sad.

    2. people who are fully vaccinated can still catch and spread Covid. I think masking in hospitals is needed as hospitals are full of sick people. HOWEVER, I believe trying to “vaccinate our way out of this” has proved to be a farce as the more we vaccinate the higher the positives. Why is the country turning a blind eye to this? HAs infection among staff gone down since mandatory vaccination? I SERIOUSLY doubt it. Because I have to get a treatment every three weeks at Memorial Central, the level of NECESSARy care is sinking LOWER. Infusion doesn’t even have enough people to answer the phones. They admit it. They admit horrid understaffing if asked. the % of Covid beds percentages go up. But that is because % of fewer beds -due to not enough staff required for an ICU.they have cut the ICU nurse staffing from covering 2 patients to covering 4 patients

  2. Guess I’ll go protest schools next, for requiring that stupid Polio Vaccine. Heck, there ain’t no Polio ’round these parts…Hey, I guess the vaccine mandate of 1955 worked! Never mind! Get your shots and go back to work, morons!

    1. go read how long polio was tested before being given en mas se. You realize the smallpox vaccine is actually created from the pustules found on people who were ill with COWPOX. This disease seems innocuous in humans, but as a bonus was found to intercept and create a positive immunity against smallpox as a bonus. This research started in 1796. It wasn’t until about 1954 they started fascinating with a well-proven vaccine. So The covid “vaccine” has been around less than a year and our case rates are soaring in “highly-vaccinated” states-states who resisted en mas se vaccination-like Florida- have the lowest incidence of Covid. Please do some research before spouting off about the polio vaccine without first doing research. Google is your friend. When did scientists start phase 1 trials for the COVID-19 vaccine?

      Scientists began Phase 1 trials of an experimental vaccine for COVID-19 in mid-March.Jul 21, 2020

    1. BUT…. you do want someone who got the shot and has the virus running around spreading it to critical patients all because the current protocol is if you are vaccinated you don’t have to get tested. So what is the real hazard. Someone who had the virus and can have the full spectrum antibodies and is not contagious if exposed or the person who got the shot and can have and spread the virus for up to 4-5 days.
      How does this make any sense. If it was about saving live they would be testing every healthcare worker vaccinated or not.

    2. all the vaccinated people can infect others as well. WHAT’S yoUR POINT? Completely vaccinated” facilities”-if tested- might be found to be the highest vector of infection of all.

    1. They have a superiority complex because they feel they are so smart for getting the shot. Everyone who disagrees or does something different is ignorant. They only listen to directions and do not take active participation in their care choices. Look at all the data and others experiences to determine the best course for their care. They in their subconscious don’t want to feel like they took a shot they didn’t need and could have possible repercussions because of it. So they cover it with a superiority complex and think they are better than everyone. Heaven forbid people respect others opinions and choices in life. These are the same people who say “..don’t push religion on me it is my choice in life so respect that”, yet they are out pushing medical decisions on people in the same manner with zero respect.

    2. Explain *your* science buddy. It shows you’re not all that bright if you don’t know what the burden of proof is.
      You brought it up, it’s your responsibility.

      Ah, but.. responsibility isn’t really in your threads is it?

  3. Wait, wait, wait.. Hold on.
    First off, let me remind you all that it’s a clear sign of narcissism to always find blame on someone else, to refuse to take responsibility for your own actions and to twist and play with words to make yourself seem correct.
    It’s also the clear sign of a conspiracy theorist to refuse what is necessary based on nothing with real logic.
    It’s *also* a sign of a self serving a** to refuse to consider your community rather than yourself by preforming what you think is comfortable for you, instead of your community.

    That all being said, they’re basically saying they’re angry Pueblo is doing what they do every year, honoring people that worked extremely hard and put themselves out there *for their community*, all while angry they were let go for *choosing* themselves over their community, and for *choosing* to ignore what was right or even what was necessary.

    Basically, “I didn’t get to do whatever I wanted and now I’m mad I have to pay for it”.
    These people vote for Trump? Jfc

    Ten bucks most of them are in their late 40s at the very least.

    Regardless, this is insane to me. Mandate or not, they were given time, warning after warning and several chances. You can’t work with the diseased while diseased. This isn’t the black plague and this isn’t 1346. It’s 2021. Grow up and take responsibility for your own actions. You did this, not Pueblo, no Colorado, not your medical facility, you. You did.

    1. Wow…what a rant! Given time as you see it…forced to do something that is not necessary given the facts of the “vax”? So…you who blathers about narcissism..well… you just defined yourself! And what logic you say? There is none in this matter…no logic…no common sense…no clear thinking…so go about your business and hold onto those “facts” you so kindly ask someone else to provide for you. Soon…yes very soon…you will be exposed.

  4. Oh look at the #Karens crying because they quit their jobs because their employers told them to do something. No one cares. Go away. If you wanted to keep your jobs you would have did what your employer said. No shut up. Thank you Pueblo for honoring the great health care workers who actually believe in science. Don’t listen to the little cry babies. They will find their calling as a bar hop or something.

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