The game plan is clear.
"We will be peaceful, but loud," says the email from John Gilmore, who heads the Autism Action Network and presides over the New York chapter of Children’s Health Defense. "We will not be doing any civil disobedience, and we do not seek confrontation with anyone. But we will be seen and heard."
Wednesday morning, busloads of New Yorkers who oppose vaccine and mask mandates will be heading to Albany, for a rally, and then the protesters will head to the Capitol for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address and to possibly meet with individual legislators.
In an email to supporters, Gilmore outlined a series of instructions — what not to bring (no knives, weapons, bullhorns, whistles or signs on sticks), what not to put on signs (no Confederate flags, yellow stars or swastikas), and how to handle perhaps the most controversial issue: masks.
Gilmore noted that masks are required to enter the Capitol and legislative office building.
"We think masks are useless. We think mask mandates are oppressive political theater," Gilmore wrote. "But Wednesday is not the time to make a principled stand. We need to get as many people into the buildings as quickly as possible."
Gilmore said the event’s sponsors will have masks that read "No Mandates" that they’ll be handing out.
Besides attending the rally, with dozens of speakers planned, the protesters are being asked to set up meetings with lawmakers throughout the day, too.
"If you are meeting with Democrats, especially, please wear your masks," the email reads. "If you show up without one you will not be heard …"
"You want them to think about you as a reasonable, well-informed person who treats them with respect," the email concludes.