Hundreds protest stay-at-home order outside Michigan Capitol

Friday, May 15, 2020
By Paul Martin

15 May 2020

Hundreds of people angry over Michigan’s coronavirus stay-at-home order protested in heavy rain outside the state Capitol

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of people angry or frustrated over Michigan’s coronavirus stay-at-home order protested again outside the state Capitol on Thursday, braving heavy rain to call for a loosening of restrictions and for business owners to reopen in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The demonstration was smaller than previous rallies. It was led by Michigan United for Liberty, a conservative activist group that has sued Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and organized or participated in since early April.

People in the crowd of roughly 200 held signs declaring “Every worker is essential,” “Make Michigan work again” and “Stop the tyranny.”

“We can get some businesses back open,” said David Saxton, a 40-year-old IT specialist from Alma, in central Michigan. He said he lost his job, is receiving unemployment benefits and noted that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be ready for a year and a half. “Staying shut down that long is not practical. You will kill the state. You just will.”

Though state police and Michigan’s attorney general had warned of enforcing prohibitions on brandishing guns or ignoring potential directives to stay 6 feet apart, there were no arrests. Some protesters still stood closer together.

Some carried guns even though lawmakers from both parties criticized certain demonstrators for intimidating and threatening tactics two weeks ago. At that protest, they openly carried assault rifles into the Capitol, including the Senate gallery, sparking calls by Democrats to ban guns from the building.

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