Republican confronted by activists, refuses to pledge opposition to vaccine mandates

Rep. Erik Mortensen spoke at various rallies to support health freedom, while Rep. Ron Kresha refused to sign a pledge to stop vaccine mandates.

Minnesotans gather at a medical freedom rally in Cambridge, Minnesota in August. (Action 4 Liberty/Facebook).

More residents across Minnesota are voicing their concerns about vaccine mandates, to the dismay of some elected officials.

Five medical freedom rallies took place around the state this past weekend, and dozens, if not hundreds, of nurses, health care workers, and citizens showed up at each one.

Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee, spoke at rallies in Little Falls and Grand Rapids to share why he supports health freedom and to bring attention to an amendment he is working to get passed that would ban vaccine mandates for health care workers.

“If they win this battle, where are the limits?” Mortensen said to a crowd in Grand Rapids. “What else can they do to you? What can’t they do to you?”

Mortensen plans to introduce the “Stop Vaccine Mandates” proposal as an amendment to a bill that could be passed in a September special session. The bill would create a $250 million relief fund for frontline workers. Mortensen’s amendment to the bill would make it illegal to mandate the COVID-19 vaccination for those workers and for all employees of any business, school, or state agency in Minnesota.

The amendment would also make vaccine passports illegal and nullify any executive orders from President Joe Biden regarding vaccine mandates.

With Mortensen, Action 4 Liberty President Jake Duesenberg has been advocating for the amendment by encouraging residents to email their state representatives and implore them to sign the “Stop Vaccine Mandates” pledge.

Those who sign the pledge agree to not vote for the $250 million frontline workers bill unless the Stop Vaccine Mandates amendment is included.

Rep. Erik Mortensen speaks to a crowd gathered at a medical freedom rally in Little Falls (Action 4 Liberty/Facebook).

Rep. Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, made an appearance at a Little Falls rally and was asked by Mortensen in front of a crowd if he would sign the pledge. Kresha said he would not sign the pledge to ban vaccine mandates.

A group of 30-40 people circled around Kresha following Mortensen’s speech, Duesenberg told Alpha News, at which point Duesenberg confronted Kresha to ask him why he wouldn’t sign the pledge.

A heated conversation followed as Kresha yelled and cursed at Duesenberg, according to a video obtained by Alpha News.

Kresha’s constituents appeared to be upset with him; one woman attempted to read the pledge to him as he walked away from the group.

“I have other things to do,” Kresha said when the woman was explaining the pledge.

Duesenberg later said that many state representatives “don’t have a plan” and “don’t care about your freedom.”

“You have to demand that they do what you say. We need to pass the Stop Vaccine Mandates amendment in the special session,” Duesenberg continued.

“Politicians like Ron Kresha need to show leadership,” he told Alpha News. “Government, medical facilities, educational institutions and businesses are violating the individual rights of their citizens. [Politicians] either need to sign the Stop Vaccine Mandates pledge or tell us their plan to protect the individual freedoms of their constituents.”

While speaking in Little Falls, Mortensen said “establishment Republicans” want to stay away from this issue because it’s “controversial.”

“[Establishment Republicans] will do nothing hard. If it’s hard, it’s controversial. If it’s controversial, it pisses people off. If it pisses people off, they might not get reelected,” Mortensen said to a crowd gathered in Little Falls.

The medical freedom rallies took place last weekend in Little Falls, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, Cambridge, and outside the governor’s mansion.

Citizens attend a medical freedom rally in Brainerd (Action 4 Liberty/Facebook).

Hundreds of Minnesotans showed their support for health freedom by showing up with posters and lining the streets with American flags.

“Nurses: Last year’s heroes, this year’s unemployed,” read one poster. “Where there is risk, there must be choice,” read another.

Several additional medical freedom rallies have taken place this month across the state, with citizens and health care workers showing up in St. Cloud, Edina, Maplewood, Stillwater, and St. Louis Park.

Dr. Neil Shah, a candidate for governor, spoke at a St. Cloud rally for medical freedom and called for “tyrants,” both governmental and corporate, to stop erasing “civil liberties.”

Alpha News reached out to Rep. Kresha for comment but did not received a response.



Rose Williams

Rose Williams is an assistant editor for Alpha News.