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'Anti-mask' rally to protest mask mandate held in Scottsdale

"I don’t think people need to be forced into doing something," said Scottsdale Councilman Guy Phillips. "People would have done it anyway had we had the education."

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — There were two main camps at a rally in Scottsdale Wednesday: people against wearing masks and people against being told to wear masks.

"I don’t think people need to be forced into doing something," says Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips. "People would have done it anyway had we had the education first."

Phillips organized the rally, which had a few hundred people turn out.  

Most of his supporters were not wearing masks.  

Phillips says he's not anti-mask, but he is against the mandate and thinks people should make their own choices.

Scottsdale is one of many Arizona cities that have rules in place about wearings masks in public places like restaurants, stores, gyms, even gatherings like the rally where you can’t social distance as an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane put out the mandate proclamation less than a week ago after Gov. Doug Ducey gave local governments the green light to set their own rules.

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"I feel it’s a violation if people aren’t allowed to have choices," says one man at the rally. "You know it’s about control, not really about a mask."

Lisa Smith came out with her husband and two kids.  She says her family is health and shouldn't have to wear masks unless they are sick.  

"If you feel more comfortable wearing one, great," she tells 12 News. "More power to you. I’m not judging you for it. I just want to be told I have to."

The CDC and Mayo Clinic, and other experts have said that wearing a mask can help prevent COVID-19 from spreading as easily, but they were not always supported by state and health leaders.

Governor Ducey started pushing masks just last week when he announced municipalities could make their own rules about wearing them.

Councilman Phillips wrapped up the rally by letting everyone know he asked Mayor Lane to drop the mandate.

As of right now, Scottsdale's mandate is in effect until July 20, 2020.

"We’re trying to be as open as possible but at the same time as safe as possible," Mayor Lane said Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Lane said he made the decision to put the mandate in effect after he saw the number of positive COVID-19 cases rising from May to June.

As for the protesters outside his office, he says he supports their right to do it, even if he doesn't support their message.

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