Dawn Perreca protests on the front steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Flag-waving, honking protesters drove past the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday to show their displeasure with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The Michigan Conservative Coalition organized a protest against the state’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer. They planned to create a traffic jam around the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing, as a symbolic gesture of disagreement with Whitmer’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home directive” which they call #OperationGridlock.
A message found on the MCC’s website read, “We are all concerned for those afflicted with COVID 19. Yes, many of the personal behaviors we have been reminded to use are good practices. Wash your hands. Cover your cough. Stay home if you are sick. That said, Michiganders are fed up!”
Protestors carried signs that said, “Heil Whitmer,” “Open Michigan,” “End Crackdown” and “Impeach Whitmer.”
Gov. Whitmer has joined many governors across the country in extending her state’s quarantine through May 1. Unlike other governors, Whitmer’s order came with many unnecessary rules attached, hence the protest.
Here are a few of the most egregious:
She has banned travel between residences. She will allow exceptions for those taking care of an elderly relative or friend, “a pet, visiting a nursing home or similar facility, attending a funeral with no more than 10 people, or complying with a court order related to child custody.”
If a resident owns a vacation home which is located out of state, they are allowed to travel there. If, however, their vacation home is located within the state of Michigan, they may not. What sense does that possibly make?
No public and private gatherings of any size are allowed. However, people can still leave the house for outdoor activities, and recreational activities are still permitted as long as they’re taking place outside of six feet from anyone else.
Violators will be fined up to $1,000 and the changes were due to go into effect on Saturday. So, if anyone had plans to dine with family members on Easter Sunday, they were forced to cancel.
Other pointless parts of Whitmer’s order included demands that all Home Depot and Lowe’s stores close off what she considered non-essential departments such as flooring, garden supplies (shrubs, plants, seeds). This quarantine is a perfect time to work on home projects, but residents aren’t allowed to purchase the materials to do so.
Earlier, my colleague Brandon Morse posted about Whitmer’s appearance this morning on “Today.” The governor offered a unique and unexpected defense of her draconian measures. That post can be viewed here.
It’s okay everyone! Whitmer’s dictatorial leadership is justified! See, there’s snow in Michigan. pic.twitter.com/RPBreEUd5t
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) April 15, 2020
Here are two more irrational items that I hadn’t heard about. As my colleague Nick Arama posted here, you can’t buy a car seat for your baby.
Nor will the governor allow people to play golf or landscapers to provide services. According to WXYZ Detroit, Whitmer said, “They are not necessary to sustain life. To be candid, just by engaging in it can expose people to risk, serious risk.”
By Wednesday afternoon, 251,739 Michiganders have signed a petition to recall Whitmer.
At 4:30 pm, NBC’s Michigan affiliate, WOOD-TV reported that protesters could be heard chanting “Open up Michigan!” Once, they heard a chorus of “lock her up.”
One of MCC’s co-founders, Marian Sheridan, issued a statement before the rally which said, “We can get this rally done and stay within the social distancing guidelines. Citizens are frankly tired of being treated like babies. As adults, we now know what needs to be done to stay safe.”
Michigan State Police Lt. Brian Oleksyk told NBC that “for the majority, the protest is peaceful at this time and has been. Most have been following the social distancing.”
As I mentioned earlier, many governors (including my own) have issued stay-at-home orders. But very few have reached this level of stupid.
I wonder if any of this will blow her chances of being selected as a running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden.
The scene in Lansing right now as protests over @GovWhitmer's stay home order continue.
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) April 15, 2020
Massive convoy heading from Lowell to Lansing for #operationgridlock. Group is protesting @GovWhitmer extending stay-at-home order through end of April. Saying it violates their rights @wzzm13 pic.twitter.com/Jfc4u9odf2
— Noah Fromson (@NoahFromson) April 15, 2020
Happening in Lansing, MI
This is getting big. Thousands of cars are rolling into town. State Police are closing off exits around the city.
I'm proud of my state right now. pic.twitter.com/1N1wSfN0za
— Reverend Calvin Barnes (@VoiceofCal) April 15, 2020
Lansing, now. And more coming: pic.twitter.com/lgNwE286la
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 15, 2020