Maskless group intimidates Woodstock drum circle

Some participants in the Sunday drum circles on the village green in Woodstock have felt displaced by a Freedom First anti-mask group that set up a tent near drummers’ area. Deputy town supervisor Maria-Elena Conte expressed concern about intimidation at last week’s meeting of the town board.

“There was a bit of a conflict, and somebody planted themselves in the middle,” supervisor Bill McKenna said. “We all need to be very careful and cool.”

Police have asked the anti-maskers to keep a distance from the drummers.


McKenna said that the majority of the village green was owned by the Dutch Reformed Church, which has control over what groups can assemble on the property.

“They’re showing themselves to be selfish,” said councilwoman Laura Ricci of the group that had set up their tent next to a new sign reminding people in town to wear a mask.

“From what I have seen on YouTube on the village green, that’s the same sorry cry for attention we’ve been dealing with for years,” councilman Lorin Rose said.

The Freedom First tent was absent from the July 26 drum circle.

There are 26 comments


    Remember these Anti-Maskers well.
    When (and if) this Pandemic is over they need to be remembered as a public health hazard.
    And unworthy of public office, or trust.
    I mean, Jeez, how hard is it to wear a little piece of cotton or paper and respect others???

    1. Bill H

      I hope you know that “freedom first nut cakes…” is meaningless by itself. Unless you are an anarchist with a nut allergy, I suppose. Do you mean freedom to do whatever you want regardless of others? Why not just put a mask on when you are in public, when you can’t maintain 6 ft from others, to protect the more vulnerable around you until this pandemic is in the past? What are you afraid you are going to lose if you cooperate?

      Should we do away with freedom-crushing speed limits as a way of reducing car crashes?

  2. Capt. Trips

    It sounds just like, as if, there were a mad man, and he devised a virus, too unleash on the world. This virus would kill mostly baby boomer generation, and the physically disabled, just as more and more of these boomers are aging, retiring and being a burden on the healthcare, insurance, and financial market infrastructures. This mad man would have created this virus to be asymptomatic for most youth, where as, they become carriers of this killer elite. And, too expedite the spread, he would push false narratives, as Hitler did with his “big lie” psychological propaganda machine, encouraging maskless assemblies, dividing fellow man against fellow man, forcing children too school during the worst time of year, as too induce viral inoculation, and the release of false and conflicting information. This mad man would watch as his virus cut the population by at least a quarter, of mostly the eldest, sickest, and most burdensome on society. As a side bonus, this mad man’s virus would kill an unproportioned amount of minorities, especially those in poor neighborhoods. The virus would keep most people indoors, away from each other, where he can control the main populace, creating a trapped audience for an onslaught of so much info mish-mosh, that most do not know what to believe. This virus if handled correctly by this evil man will have the infrastructure rattle. Fear, division, false information, and lack of leadership, all leading up too the end of what once was the envy of the world, and of the magnificent ideals we once held. The mad man is in hall, the halls of the White House.

  3. Bill H

    There is a certain coward’s power in not wearing a mask these days. It is likely that these are the same folks that re-tweet Trump’s re-tweets and have embraced their content. The only way to deal with folks that so rabidly believe that junk is to let them make their noise if they are abiding by the law, or call on the police to stop them if they are not. It’s a shame that they have chosen a friendly, non-political music happening to be jerks.

    Drummers, keep your cool. Don’t let these clowns intimidate you, or incite you. People like them have chosen Woodstock, and that specific time and place, because they know they are safe there. There is a reason why they choose not to protest in front of places that actually represent what they are fighting against (“liberal” government institutions, police stations where so-called liberal policies are enforced, etc.), and that is because they don’t really have the heart to fight for change, and perhaps it is because they are not really sure what they stand for. Fighting for the general notion of “freedom,” which ironically is what the drum circle represents, is not really oppositional to what ALL people want. So these folks can get lost in an argument over wearing masks to protect others from a virus and forget what is REALLY bothering them. The problem on both sides is that we have been tricked into arguing about such no-brainer issues like masks vs no masks and using our preferred propaganda as evidence.

    Drummers, try your best not to engage with these posers. Play harder, and play louder when they show up. Music is the best antidote for all their nonsense.

    1. Cliff F

      God forbid that anyone disrupts the sanctity of the Drum Circle, and not on the hollowed ground of the Village Green: Especially if it is a group of people who “are not really sure what they stand for.”

      I pray that next week the drummers are disrupted by the Flat Earth true believers, cause they really know what they stand for.

      1. Bill H

        Why not use this space to actually explain what the Freedom First Anti-maskers stand for, and why they have to parasitically position themselves next to the drum circle? I mean, if you are sure what they stand for, state it. And please include why not wearing masks around other people, including seniors, is reasonable. Otherwise, they actually are in the same category as Flat Earthers in terms of legitimacy.

    2. Linda L

      The really sad part of the so called “Freedom” folks is that they’ve been in Woodstock for years making what they’re used to making…..bad trouble. Very unfortunate!!

    1. Bill H

      Good question, RM. Take your pick:
      1) the virus is a hoax conspired by everyone on the planet except the anti-maskers
      2) 150,000 deaths, and more, are a worthwhile cost for their “liberty”
      3) there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop the virus, therefore we should let it run it’s course so that they don’t have to feel awkward in a mask
      4) these are miserable people who were miserable before the pandemic and now have adopted a new external reason for their misery; anything to avoid looking inward
      5. they aren’t sure what is going on, but tend to be oppositional about everything

  4. The Enforcer

    Anti-Maskers are 100% directly responsible for the spread of disease. They represent sickness — literal sickness as spreaders; and mental sickness that needs to be stopped at ANY cost, really. Herman Cain’s refusal to wear a mask has him in the morgue this morning, and if that’s the only way these idiots are choosing to learn a lesson, then let’s cull the heard. Otherwise, stand down, shut the hell up, and wear your damn mask!!!

  5. paulagloria

    The Freedom First Party is a political party in formation and the other parties, Democrat and Republican have to keep their hands off by law. Anyone who studies the video evidence will see where the “intimidation” really the video as the Woodstock police, Town Supervisor and the Dutch Reformed Church now is

    1. paulagloria

      go to Joe Elmo’s facebook page to see the first two videos, July 5th and July 12th,…..July 19th has only been seen on Woodstock TV and I am holding back publishing that most incriminating video on line until we get some more serious resolution as Kevin Johnson is practically spitting my my face “I have COVID” and he is Maskless… about a hypocrite …..
      people have been arrested for doing this and if anyone from the Freedom First Party had done it we’d be arrested….why not Kevin Johnson?

    2. Bill H

      Can you provide a link to The Freedom First Party’s platform? It’s a political party? In New York? Also, why do you think there is a law that says Democrats and Republicans have to “keep their hands off” The Freedom First Party? What law? I am not trying to be smart with you, I seriously have no idea what you are talking about.

      Can you provide a link to the video in which a person is practically spitting in your face and yelling “I have Covid”? If that did happen to you as you describe, I am really sorry it did. That would be awful behavior if anyone did it. Also, do you think this man’s alleged behavior justifies Freedom First anti-masker’s behavior?

      Lastly, why not simply move your misguided argument about masks and freedom further down on the village green? Sorry, I have to be honest about the foolishness about refusing to wear masks.

      1. paulagloria

        Bill H – FreedomFirstParty used to have a big website but the word “freedom” is a targeted word I later discovered from a search engine optimizer and indeed eventually the server couldn’t overcome the profiling and we couldn’t keep it going.
        A party in formation only needs a logo and thus permission to use the first amendment cannot be denied. The Church understands this as well as the town of Woodstock. The executive order from Cuomo, if you study the language, is only an advisory and without any scientific evidence of the ability of the mask to stop infectious disease (the N95 respirator mask considered the best mask says on the box it does not stop infectious disease) we are simply enjoying life as God intended us to do exhale our natural breath into the world where the plants are waiting for the CO2
        Have you visited the CDC’s website? I found no scientific studies on the ability of masks to stop infectious disease and I have found many studies elsewhere that they cause harm, including not meeting OSHA standards

        1. Bill H

          Paula, with all due respect, if you can’t find scientific evidence of the effectiveness of masks, then you are choosing not to look. Lazily Googling “scientific evidence that masks work” will give you enough scientific reading material for the next week or two. The first hits are from UCSF, Stanford University, The Wall Street Journal, The Mayo Clinic, and The National Institute of Health. The 9th hit is from the CDC where they provide a link (which I will include below) to the scientific research that informs their guidelines.
          That is by merely Googling for info. However — and this should be quite revealing — if you Google “scientific evidence that masks DO NOT work” you will get absolutely nothing (and, ironically, a world of scientific evidence that they DO work).
          What does that tell you about your position, Paula? What kinds of people agree with you? How do they know what they know? And what kinds of people argue FOR wearing masks?
          You say that you found many (many?) scientific studies that say wearing masks during the pandemic causes harm. Can you show us those studies? Or at least tell us the sources?

          The CDC’s link to research that has guided their protocols:

  6. Capt. Trips

    Just in case, it was not enough info., in my last post. Your turn Paulagloria, post studies and/or evidence, masks do not work. And, how about the rightsof everyone else? You talk of rights too breath, and exhale as you wish. However, where do your rights end, and mine, or anyone else’s rights, too breath in air, not infected by you, when all you have to do, is wear a simple mask? It is also a question about respecting others, something void in learning today. Wear a mask, or be a disrespectful, dumb azz, that is it, plain and simple, there Paulagloria. WEAR A MASK, WHILE OUT IN PUBLIC, KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCING, RESPECT OTHERS! IT IS THE LAW, AND THE FACT IS THEY WORK.

  7. Capt. Trips

    … Bill H., Looks like we cross commented the same basic message. I just hope Paulagloria, and many others read it also, so it sinks in somebodies thick skull. And what harm is there in showing a little respect, a value, that must be paid forward, too earn and receive back in return. What happened too us, where, when, why, and how did we get here? I remember when “social media” was four lad’s from Liverpool, who told us the answer too the problem: “All you need is love, love is all you need… “, and; “… And in the end; The love you take; is equal to the love you make.” Love! Not talking about sex, but love. Love cannot exist , without respect for all living things, especially the one’s called humans. Respect others. Please wear a mask, the life you save may be your bff, bo, blood, or even your own self.

    1. Bill H

      Hopefully the anti-maskers are interested in learning more about this and read many of the links you provide. Her claim that the CDC provides no scientific basis for their guidelines was what tipped me off that the anti-maskers are not reading much science, possibly by choice since it’s all right there.

  8. wowjustwow

    The New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet have both come out and declared mask wearing ineffective for reducing the spread of covid-19 or any other virus. The WHO and Dr. Fauci have stated the same.
    Although who would trust Fauci when the scientific community knows he tried to steal the discovery of the HIV virus from Luc Montagnier.

    Do some research into who funds Johns Hopkins. They were behind Event 201. Do some research on that, too.

    Cases do not equal deaths. Many in NYS have been infected with covid-19 and not even known it because they were asymptomatic – that means NO SYMPTOMS. The more people who get it the better.

    The CDC and NIH own the patents on hundreds of vaccines. That means they get paid for every dose injected. Do you realize that vaccines are not tested with placebos? Do you know that vaccines are considered biologics and not medicine and the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them are completely protected from liability? Did you know that the average child gets 72 vaccinations by the time they’re 18? Why does a newborn need a hepatitis vaccine?

    Masks reduce the amount of oxygen intake. It’s unclean and unhealthy. Wearing masks is more about virtue signaling than protecting anyone from anything.

    It must be horrible to live in such fear. It’s almost as horrible as living in Woodstock. Reading these comments sheds light on why NY is the #1 state from which people are fleeing.

    1. Bill H

      WJW, you mention the NEJM and The Lancet as scientific evidence, but conveniently do not offer links. But here is a link from NEJM that states their position on masks as entirely the opposite of your claim. In fact, they had to publish this clarification because people like you were misunderstanding or deliberately misrepresenting their findings.
      I realize that our current president discourages actually reading the information for ourselves and instead BS-ing with any general nonsense that confirms our beliefs, but there IS overwhelming reliable information that wearing masks in public reduces risk of spreading Covid-19.

      You also mention The Lancet. Why? Again lazily Googling, and then READING their articles, I see without surprise that they do argue that wearing masks is effective and that we should wear them in public to help protect from viral spread.
      What did you read at The Lancet that argues otherwise? Did you read The Lancet?

      Then you shift to another Trump-ish tactic, which is to shovel only conspiracy theories that confirm what you already believe, and I should have stopped reading. Who funds Johns Hopkins (of course, you don’t say who and how its relevant)? The CDC and NIH own hundreds of patents for vaccines. The average child gets 72 vaccines. Then you claim that people wearing masks are merely virtue signaling rather than making genuine attempts to help stop spreading the virus, and I laughed.

      Just wear a mask when you are in public and cannot maintain 6 feet of distance. We’d all appreciate it. Then, when it’s all over, we can look back and know that we did our best to help save some of our neighbors’ lives.

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