Lansing, MI – Thousands of Michigan residents drove into the state capital on Wednesday morning and intentionally caused gridlock to protest Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order.
The Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC) initiated the protest that spread like wildfire on social media under the hashtag “#OperationGridlock,” the Michigan Star reported.
“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!” MCC’s website read, according to WJBK.
Roads were packed by 9 a.m. for the noon protest on April 15, and traffic ground to a halt in Lansing by mid-morning.
Not everyone stayed in their cars once they arrived, though, according to WJBK.
Several people in attendance who were not social distancing told reporters that they did understand the health risks but that it was their right not to follow the governor’s order.
They said they wished Whitmer had more faith in the people who live in her state, WJBK reported.
Whitmer has pushed back on calls to ease coronavirus pandemic restrictions that have put thousands of Michiganders out of work and asked residents to have patience with her stay-at-home order, WILX reported.
“I want you to have your freedom, I want mine too,” the governor said. “We will get to a place where we can be with our friends and family again, where restaurants will open again, where we can go back to work safely again. We have a few tough days ahead of us, but those days where we can resume some normalcy, they are on the horizon if we keep doing what we need to do to get past this moment.”
In fact, Whitmer tightened controls on what were considered “essential” businesses on April 9 by ordering stores to stop selling gardening supplies as she extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 1.
“There is no reason why she can’t be looking at some safe ways to be opening up businesses. Instead of talking about what’s essential and nonessential, let’s talk about what’s safe and not safe,” MCC spokesman Meshawn Maddock told WILX. “Safe businesses and safe workers need to get back to work.”
As of Wednesday, Michigan had 27,001 positive cases of coronavirus with 1,768 fatalities, according to Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker.
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