Thousands of protestors are demanding Michigan be reopened after Gov. Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order to the end of April and imposed additional restrictions throughout the state. Michiganders are no longer allowed to operate motorboats or travel to in-state vacation residences. And retail stores that have so far been allowed to remain open must now close down parts of their businesses that deal with "non-essential" items like carpeting, flooring, furniture, plants, and paint.
Dubbed Operation Gridlock, thousands of drivers clogged up streets in Lansing on Wednesday to protest the governor's latest restrictions and demand that Michigan be reopened.
"Quarantine is when you restrict movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people," Meshawn Maddock, an organizer of the protest told Fox News. "Every person has learned a harsh lesson about social distancing. We don’t need a nanny state to tell people how to be careful."
Thousands of people from all over Michigan are converging on our state Capitol today to protest the governor’s restrictive “Stay Home” order and get their voices, and car horns, heard. #OperationGridlock pic.twitter.com/bgjH4wKCUQ— MI House Republicans (@MI_Republicans) April 15, 2020
Many protesters left their vehicles to protest on foot outside the state capitol.
Speaker of Michigan's House of Representatives, Lee Chatfield, said there was nothing more American than people exercising their constitutional rights to petition their government. Speaker Chatfield said he trusted the protesters to exercise safety while also exercising their constitutional rights.
"We've seen people across the entire state have their livelihoods taken away and they're being told that they can't work their job and take care of their family, and I think that's a problem. And that's what we're seeing: people today come here to ensure their voice is being heard," Chatfield said.
Protest groups are springing up across the nation as Americans grow tired of government orders restricting their movements and prohibiting their associations. As former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson notes, the real viral growth is now taking place on Facebook, where groups calling for the government to reopen the country are experiencing a sharp rise in membership.
Now this is viral growth: a North Carolina Facebook group called #ReopenNC began last Thursday and has 21,000 members already; it is calling for a protest tomorrow. North Carolina, population 10.4 million, has 81 #COVID deaths and 331 people hospitalized.https://t.co/zw43IUi4gW— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 13, 2020
But #reopenNC is dwarfed by the Michigan FB group - “Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine” - which has 262,000 members, 2.6% of the state’s population! In a week. As someone wrote me, people in MI know when you lose jobs, they don’t come back. https://t.co/j1O9hYDnUg pic.twitter.com/AcFn0aJ5Wi— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 13, 2020
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