John Spiropoulos is a veteran newsman—"a three-time, Emmy-Award-winning TV News reporter and producer with more than 40 years experience." Spiropoulos is now officially retired. However, when not spending time with his wife and grandchildren, he captures on film everyday people doing extraordinary things while highlighting current issues of his own choosing and on his own dime. His compelling human interest videos are usually no longer than five to ten minutes. One such video was featured in an April UncoverDC article about Lydia Friend, who founded "The Women of Watts."
On May 11, he went to document the protest to fight Digital Vaccination Passports in Santa Ana, CA. He shot two powerful videos for his YouTube series called "Let's Roll America" of a group of about 800 people who had gathered to protest Orange County California's plans for a Digital Vaccination Passport system that "would distinguish people who have received the Covid-19 vaccination and those who haven't."
The first video was deleted from YouTube within hours and is now uploaded to Rumble. YouTube took it down with the following message captured here:
Spiropoulos YouTube Censorship/Digital Passport Rally/May 11, 2021
In a matter of minutes, the video captures the "animating spirit" behind what worries so many Americans and activists, like human rights attorney Leigh Dundas—the wish to remain free of governmental tyranny. Citizens are shown with hand-made signs, enthusiastically asserting their First Amendment Right to protest during a meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors who were inside debating the legislation.
According to a press release sent by Freedom for California, two groups sponsored the event in addition to Dundas' and her Citizen-Rights Organization; Peggy Hall, Founder, The Healthy American, and Alan Hostetter, former FBI agent who is associated with the American Phoenix Project. The three organizations were all formed to fight tyranny and government overreach in the lives of Americans.
Digital Passport Rally/Freedom for California/PRNewswire
Reportedly, the "proposal for the pilot program included issuing a QR code to vaccine recipients who registered for appointments through the county's Othena app. County officials stressed that digital vaccination records would provide an alternative to the paper cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can be easily lost or destroyed."
Protesters with bullhorns are depicted in the Spiropoulos video shouting, "We are your boss, you are not our boss, and we are holding you accountable. We, the People, do not want vaccination passports." One protester told Spiropoulos that she was there because "they keep chiseling away at our freedoms."
Dundas pointedly articulated the implications of the proposed legislation and the "subterfuge" to get it passed.
"The subterfuge is off the hook. We've had the county, in the last month, rename the system so when concerned citizens call their offices, they can say, 'Oh, we're not doing a Digital Vaccine Passport because they renamed it a Vaccination Verification Record.'" Dundas goes on to say that this is a "technology system, which can then be leveraged in businesses and stores in our great county to deny entry or to deny services." Governor Newsom, Dundas explains, "plans to incentivize reopening when it is tied to adoption of this digital technology passport system."
Reportedly, Supervisor for District 2 and Mayor for the City of Costa Mesa, Katrina Foley, in a board of supervisors meeting, stated that the Digital Vaccination Passport does not represent a policy of exclusion. Foley opposed a proposed pause on the proposal because she said tourism would be adversely affected. Foley stated,
"This was a convenient, opt-in, voluntary opportunity for individuals to be able to benefit their businesses as well as be able to go about living their lives," she said. "We are appeasing a very small fraction of our community who actually are not going to get vaccinated. They've already told us they don't believe in vaccines," as reported by MSN.
Dundas simply doesn't buy that this is not a policy of exclusion:
"That is an absolute lie, because if you have a digital vaccine record that allows you to go into Trader Joe's or Dodger Stadium or Anaheim Stadium, and she gets in and I don't get in—that is absolutely a policy of exclusion....we are here to let them know that the plan that they are hatching is Nazi Germany meets 1984 meets Rosa Parks on steroids...separate is not equal and we are not going to be discriminated against certain classes of citizens, and we are not going to be giving special passports to certain segments of society. Those are tactics that are best left to the annals of the history books."
Dundas believes that this amounts to "leaving a digital breadcrumb trail behind [us] with everything [we] do," here referring to the process of potentially having to scan our phone into every business and store we enter.
The second video below shows Spiropoulos interviewing citizens about why the issue of instituting digital passport technology is so threatening to them. Sheri Workman, who held a sign that said "Choose Freedom Not Fear," told him that she was there because she "wants them to eradicate this idea of passports. We are a free people," she continued, "We have always been a free people. We have choices. We need the ability to go where we want to go and speak what we please...I have neighbors who are afraid, who won't come out of their houses. So we are just encouraging people to choose what is already our birthright as Americans."
Many signs referenced themes of freedom and freedom from tyranny and fear.
Choose Freedom Not Fear/Sherri Workman/Digital Vaccination Passport Protest/Spiropoulos
Other signs referred to the exclusion and fear experienced by so many during the occupation of the Nazis in Germany.
Armbands and Tattoos/Digital Vaccination Passport Protest/Spiropoulos
Show Your Papers/Digital Vaccination Passport Protest/Spiropoulos
Heather Flores, a newly retired combat medic, poignantly told Spiropoulos that she served for 20 years and 11 months on active duty. "I didn't realize that fighting for freedom in other countries on foreign soil would lead me to retirement to see that we are losing our freedom right here," she told Spiropoulos.
One man declared that many on the Board of Supervisors "are not aligned with truth...and freedom, with the California Constitution, and the U.S. Constitution." Others said that they are fighting for freedom for their children and their churches and that if they allow this to happen, it will be a slippery slope toward further erosion of their God-given freedoms.
Spiropoulos told UncoverDC that he was unexpectedly moved to tears because, at the end of the protest, the people spontaneously recited the pledge of allegiance and sang the National Anthem.
About the censorship, Spiropoulos relayed the following:
"When I think of the tidal wave of misinformation that the media and big tech delivered against President Trump, it's infuriating that they would kill an honest story about a protest that goes against the approved leftist narrative.
Not a single journalist returned their awards for their Russia Russia Russia reporting in spite of the fact that they got the story wrong.
Big Tech was happy to spread their lies. None of those so-called reporters had their stories blocked.
My reports on Spygate (starting in February 2018) were accurate and later proven so by the DOJ IG report.
The NY Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS were wrong. Dead wrong. They are traitors to the First Amendment.
They are purveyors of "Take Sides Journalism," which is not journalism at all. It's spin. Anyone who wants to spin information for a living should go into politics or PR, not claim to be a reporter."
"One more thing," he added, "The news media were not just wrong about Russia Russia Russia, they were knowingly wrong, willing participants in the conspiracy with their deep state sources."
Let's Roll America/John Spiropoulos
Given how poor the reporting by the legacy media has been with so many events and issues, it may well be the reason Spiropoulos communicates with moving pictures and sound. Spiropoulos wants the voices and words of freedom-loving Americans to be heard directly—without fear of being twisted by bias and political agendas. Let's also hope that, in America, there will still be spaces and places where work like his will continue to be seen and heard. It is the ability to live free of tyranny and to be heard without fear of interference, retaliation, or fear of punishment that makes this country "The Shining City on A Hill."