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Officials Call Anti-Vaccine Protest 'Sabotage'; LA Councilman Suggests Demonstrators 'Should Be Held Accountable'

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — City and state officials decried anti-vaccination protesters who forced the temporary shutdown of the inoculation center at Dodger Stadium, stalling hundreds of motorists who had been waiting in line for hours.

The Los Angeles Fire Department shut the entrance to the stadium as a precaution at about 2 p.m. Saturday after it was blocked by a few dozen demonstrators, officials told the Los Angeles Times.

The protest included members of anti-vaccine and far-right groups, the Times reported. Some of the marchers carried signs denouncing the COVID-19 vaccine and shouted for people not to get the shots.

Shop Mask Free Los Angeles rally gainst COVID-19 Vaccine
Los Angeles, CA - January 30: A protest organized by Shop Mask Free Los Angeles rally against COVID vaccine, masks and lockdowns at the vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA.(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Despite the 55-minute interruption, no appointments were canceled, said Andrea Garcia, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

"We remain committed to vaccinating Angelenos as quickly and safely as possible," Garcia said.

No arrests were made, police said.

Still, county Supervisor Hilda Solis said the group's actions amounted to "intentional sabotage of an effort to keep our community healthy", while City Councilman Kevin de Leon said anyone obstructing vaccinations "must be held accountable."

Sacramento lawmakers also condemned the peaceful protest.

"These extremists tried to deny other people their choice to get the vaccine and they want to take away our freedom from this terrible pandemic," Democratic state Senator Richard Pan, who's also a pediatrician, said in a statement Sunday. "The fact that over 430,000 Americans have died of COVID is not enough for them as they oppose every effort to slow the disease: masks, testing, physical distancing and vaccines."

The vaccination center, one of the nation's largest, reopened shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, the Times reported. The site is usually open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It was closed as usual on Sunday.

(Copyright 2021 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.)

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