Anti-lockdown protestors in Michigan flooded into the Capitol building, and demanded access to the House floor Thursday afternoon.
Hundreds of Michiganders gathered in front of the Capitol building in Lansing, protesting Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order as lawmakers gathered to deliberate on how to proceed with the extension of the coronavirus state of emergency.
"Protest moves inside Michigan Capitol," tweeted Local 4 Business editor Rod Meloni. "Crowd attempts to get onto House floor. Lots of Michigan State Police and House sergeants at arms blocking door."
Many of the protestors appeared not to be wearing face masks, or adhering to social distancing rules.
"You cannot lock us out. This is the people's house," shouted some of the protesters, alongside other phrases such as "let us in" and "you swore an oath," in reference to the Constitution.
On Tuesday, the Michigan Senate urged Whitmer to consider easing the current restrictions on businesses so that residents can return to work and elective surgeries can be performed.
While Michigan's Republican majority State Senate refuses to extend Whitmer's extensive lockdown orders, the governor says she doesn't need their permission to do it. The Michigan State House has authorized a lawsuit against Whitmer to challenge her authority.
Thursday was the day the orders were set to lift, but Whitmer has declared that the state of emergency will continue. This despite protests and unrest in her state. Protesters want businesses reopened, and to resume their livelihoods. Next week construction will be permitted to begin again in the state. Whitmer's order to stay-at-home will not expire until May 15.
Lansing has been at the epicenter of mass protests since the outbreak of the coronavirus, with citizens pushing back against Whitmer’s quarantine orders and decision to shutter non-essential businesses in an effort to slow the contagion.