They came from across the state to make a stand against government tyranny on Tuesday, with dozens of activists showing up in the rain to push back against coronavirus hysteria and the lockdown orders from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
They convened on a day that lawmakers returned to Lansing to debate whether or not they would extend the shut down of the state until June at the request of the governor. The protesters were concerned with the psychological and economic damage this would do to the state.
Michigan United for Liberty was the group tasked with starting the protest. The event was also promoted by the Michigan Conservative Union. A smaller rally took place last month with a handful of activists showing up to push back against the shut down, but this rally considered far more attention.
“I was there because all tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. I care about people’s health and more people will die from an economic fallout than this virus,” Republican state representative candidate Michelle Gregoire told The Sentry.
Signs at the protest included “Constitution: 98% Survival,” “#OpenMichigan #EndTheShutdown,” “More Will Die From Economic Fallout Than COVID-19,” “Give Us Back Our Freedom,” “Caution Not Isolation,” “Small Business is Essential,” and “Balance the Risk.”
Attorney Nicholas Somberg attended the protest with a tape measurer and urged everyone who attended to stay six feet of each other, otherwise they would risk being cited by law enforcement under the governor’s edicts.
“The executive order is not designed to keep you safe. What it is meant to do is see what the government can get away with. They want to see how far they can push people and how many rights can they take,” Somberg explained on his livestream of the event.
It was announced last week that standing within six feet of another person could be punished with a $1,000 fee.
“A person can have coronavirus without knowing it,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “They can spread the disease to others who can spread it to others. The only way to stop the spread is social distancing. A civil penalty and potential licensing actions send a strong message to Michiganders that social distancing is essential to saving lives.”
Somberg is representing two individuals from Madison Heights who claim they were cited by police for standing in a private backyard, as power-tripping government officials use coronavirus fear as a way to bully innocent citizens.
Posts on the page of Democrat State Senator Jeff Irwin – who attempted to shame the constitutional protesters as he went into the Capitol – show the level of vitriol that fear-driven Americans have toward people who exercise their basic constitutional liberty in the age of coronavirus panic.
After the rally, the legislature ultimately rejected the governor’s request to extend the stay-at-home order until June. They instead opted to keep it going until the end of April by a voice vote, and it may be extended from there. While this could be seen as a small victory for the protesters, they are not pleased that the lock down will continue for several more weeks.
“To offer an extension resolution with no defined criteria for what medical statistics must be achieved to declare the crisis to be over, offering no defined path to get Michigan working again, no consideration for differing needs by geographic region, and no restrictions to the most blatantly incompetent orders (such as the governor’s price controls that send us from store to store spreading germs all over trying to buy toilet paper) reflects a negligent do-nothing legislature,” said libertarian activist Jeff Phillips, who helped organize the rally.
“To have passed such on a voice vote with no roll-call futher indicates the do-nothings to be cowards of even their own record. They could have simply left the board open for legislators to vote one at a time if need be, but have their names entered into the public record at a minimum. Republicans blew it, and our state will suffer lasting consequences for many years to come,” he added.
Michigan United for Liberty will be holding their next rally on April 30, which is the one day before the stay-at-home order is scheduled to come to an end. The Sentry plans to be in attendance and cover the event as it takes place.