Thousands DRIVE to Michigan capitol in protest over governor’s strict Covid-19 lockdown (PHOTO, VIDEO)

15 Apr, 2020 17:45 / Updated 4 years ago

Outraged by their governor’s ban on “non-essential” sales and activities, thousands of angry Michigan residents got into their cars and drove to her office in Lansing, in what they dubbed ‘Operation Gridlock.’

Long convoys of cars, trucks and other vehicles streamed into the state capital on Wednesday, in freezing weather and through snow showers, to protest what many see as a draconian order. Video from the scene showed long lines of vehicles parked in the streets.

Governor Gretchen Witmer, a Democrat, issued the executive order last week suspending “activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life”severely limiting sales, recreation, and even travel, citing the need to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

READ MORE: Lotto tickets are OK, but not seeds? Residents baffled after Michigan bans purchases of ‘non-essential’ items

At least 15,000 vehicles were expected at the protest, the organizers told Fox News. Additional protesters joined the horn-honking cars on foot, mostly maintaining the 6-foot (2-meter) “social distance” mandated by health authorities.

“Quarantine is when you restrict movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people,” Meshawn Maddock of the Michigan Conservative Coalition told the network. “Every person has learned a harsh lesson about social distancing. We don’t need a nanny state to tell people how to be careful.”

Republican politician Mike Detmer shared a sign for the event, with the slogan “She’s driving us out of business – We’re driving to Lansing.”

Armed militia members showed up on foot as well. Some of the protesters climbed on top of their cars and waved about American flags – as well as campaign banners for President Donald Trump. 

Others carried signs about freedom, liberty, and wanting to work. A million Michiganders were laid off due to the coronavirus shutdown so far – along with 20 million people across the US.

The protest wasn’t popular with all Michiganders, however – online #Resistance accused the demonstrators of dangerous and irresponsible behavior, and even cursed them out on social media.

Some 610,000 cases of Covid-19 have been registered in the US so far, with 26,000 deaths and counting. Of those, Michigan accounted for 27,000 infections and 1,768 deaths – overwhelmingly concentrated in Detroit and the three neighboring counties. Yet the state’s shutdown has been one of the strictest in the US.

A petition to recall Whitmer in response to her “tyrannical” orders has already received almost 250,000 signatures. 

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