Demonstrators line Higgins Road during Biden visit

  • A protester who would not give her name uses a bullhorn to protest President Joe Biden and his visit Thursday to Elk Grove Village.

    A protester who would not give her name uses a bullhorn to protest President Joe Biden and his visit Thursday to Elk Grove Village. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Police prepare to move across Higgins Road before the motorcade for President Biden arrives Thursday in Elk Grove Village.

    Police prepare to move across Higgins Road before the motorcade for President Biden arrives Thursday in Elk Grove Village. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Demonstrators wait for President Joe Biden's visit to Elk Grove Village.

    Demonstrators wait for President Joe Biden's visit to Elk Grove Village. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • A demonstrator waves at vehicles on Higgins Road while waiting for President Joe Biden to arrive in Elk Grove Village Thursday.

    A demonstrator waves at vehicles on Higgins Road while waiting for President Joe Biden to arrive in Elk Grove Village Thursday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • A Donald Trump supporter waits for President Joe Biden to arrive Thursday in Elk Grove Village.

    A Donald Trump supporter waits for President Joe Biden to arrive Thursday in Elk Grove Village. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Trump supporters line Higgins Road as President Joe Biden's motorcade leaves after his visit Thursday to Elk Grove Village.

    Trump supporters line Higgins Road as President Joe Biden's motorcade leaves after his visit Thursday to Elk Grove Village. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/8/2021 10:28 AM

Dozens of demonstrators lined Higgins Road near the entrance to the Elk Grove Technology Park on Thursday to voice their displeasure with President Joe Biden's stance on vaccine mandates during his visit.

They waved flags and held signs proclaiming their political views, from "Illegal Mandates" to "Trump Won," a reference to the oft-repeated but incorrect claim that Donald Trump won reelection last year.

 

Some of the signs and banners contained obscenities about the president, and occasional chants were vulgar. Some passing motorists honked or shouted, whether in support or opposition. One man played a drum; a few people yelled through megaphones.

When asked why they were demonstrating, protesters expressed fears about democracy and the future of the country.

"We're a country of freedom," said protester Lori Felde of Elk Grove Village. "And they're taking away our freedoms."

Some counterprotesters demonstrated as well.

John Zinkis, 21, of Wheaton stood on a street corner with a small sign saying, "Tax the rich." At one point, he was confronted by two anti-Biden demonstrators, one running from across Higgins Road to yell at Zinkis. A police officer stopped, and the three separated.

"It was pretty intimidating," Zinkis said of the man who had charged at him. "I didn't know what he was going to do."

Protesters initially flanked Higgins Road. But shortly before Biden's arrival, bicycle-riding police officers moved all the protesters to the north side of Higgins.

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Sycamore resident Phil Cuthbert joined the protest before Biden's arrival. He said he works at a company in the technology park.

Cuthbert opposes corporate vaccine mandates, saying people shouldn't lose their jobs if they don't get the shot.

"It's not fair," he said.

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