Protestors gathered outside the Capitol building today in Lansing, Michigan to push back against what they believe to be excessive quarantine measures authorized by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, which have been preventing Michiganders from returning to work.
Whitmer shot back against protesters, saying, "I do think that the fact of the matter is these protests, in a perverse way, make it likelier that we're going to have to stay in a stay-at-home posture."
During the protest, there was an altercation between protesters, as tensions were high. Michigan State Police noted that one of those involved had an ax, which was taken by police.
Whitmer said that it was inappropriate to protest "during a global pandemic."
Michiganders have been protesting Whitmer's measures since mid April, when they staged a drive-by demonstration. It was only two weeks ago that demonstrators who want the option to return to their lives as they see fit made their feelings known at the Capitol, by occupying the lobby of the legislative building.
These protests are largely motivated by the idea that people do not want the government telling them they cannot work while the government simultaneously refuses to provide the necessary funds in order to survive.
There are some who have called for business owners to return to work despite the lockdown orders.
President Donald Trump spoke out about Whitmer, saying that "all she does is sit there and blame the federal government."
A video that was posted on Twitter featured Whitmer assuring her audience that she is not afraid of the people—that it is the people who run "this state." This is likely in response to protestors showing up to the Capitol legally carrying firearms.
The Michigan governor has mentioned the possibility of banning guns from entering the Capitol building, but she has received a substantial amount of push back not only from citizens, but also from the republican legislature.
The Facebook page that was responsible for the organizing of this protest was taken down by Facebook. A Facebook spokesperson said in response, "Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook. For this same reason, events that defy government's guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook."
At the time, the "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" page was deleted from the platform. The group had 380,000 members.
And while there have been recent accusations that protestors have been spreading the coronavirus to rural areas throughout Michigan, Whitmer has bolstered that hypothesis without providing any evidence, saying, "I don't have proof."