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Actress Evangeline Lilly stands in solidarity with anti-vaccine mandate protesters


Actress Evangeline Lilly, a pro-choice Democrat, spoke out against vaccine mandates Thursday in an Instagram post that stirred online controversy.

The "Ant-Man" and "Lost" star revealed that she attended a protest against vaccine mandates in Washington D.C. last weekend, calling the mandates "not safe."

"I was in DC this weekend to support bodily sovereignty while Canadian truckers were rallying for their cross-country, peaceful convoy in support of the same thing," Lilly announced, referencing the ongoing Freedom Convoy in Canada traveling from Vancouver to Ottawa in protest of the country's vaccine mandates.

She was one of thousands of people rallying in D.C. on Sunday. Crowds gathered on the National Mall chanted "no more mandates" and called on the government to end the mass firing of workers who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I believe nobody should ever be forced to inject their body with anything, against their will ... under any threat whatsoever," the 42-year-old actress wrote after the protest.

"This is not the way. This is not safe. This is not healthy. This is not love. I understand the world is in fear, but I don't believe that answering fear with force will fix our problems," she continued.

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"I was pro-choice before COVID and I am still pro-choice today," she said.

The reaction to her post was unkind.

"This is pro ignorance. Ugh, this comes from a highly privileged white woman who think she's being woke when the reality is just that she hasn't read enough," one commenter wrote on her post.

"This goes beyond personal choice- it is about caring for others (especially those who are immune-compromised) during a pandemic. It is selfish to remain unvaccinated," another said.

Many people on social media interpreted Lilly's post as a stance against the COVID-19 vaccines, but that's not what she wrote. Lilly said she was against vaccine mandates, and the first picture in her post features a protester with a sign that reads, "Vaxxed Democrat for Medical Freedom."

This is not the first time the movie star has caused controversy with an Instagram post on COVID-19. In March 2020, Lilly wrote a post that she would not self-quarantine because she valued her freedom.

"Where we are right now feels a lot too close to Marshall Law for my comfort already, all in the name of a respiratory flu," she said at the time. "It's unnerving ... Let's be vigilant right now. And kind. Watchful and gracious — keeping a close eye on our leaders, making sure they don't abuse this moment to steal away more freedoms and grab more power."

But after widespread backlash to her comments, Lilly apologized for showing "insensitivity" to those that had suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also stated that she began social distancing like everyone else two days after her controversial post.

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