[WSMDiscuss] US : Armed protesters demand end to Michigan coronavirus lockdown

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri May 1 00:19:29 CEST 2020

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Viruses in movement…, The US in movement…

[This is history in the making….  Is there anywhere else in the world where this happening ?  Let us not turn our eyes and minds away from what is happening in the US, mind numbing though it is; let us also recognise that the corona virus is not the only virus around – but that its raw power has indeed in turn unleashed others… :

US : Armed protesters demand end to Michigan coronavirus lockdown

Dozens of protesters, some with rifles slung around their chests, enter the Capitol and demand to be heard


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/armed-protesters-michigan-demand-coronavirus-lockdown-200430193810902.html <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/armed-protesters-michigan-demand-coronavirus-lockdown-200430193810902.html>
2-3 hours ago

A protester at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on Thursday [Paul Sancya/AP Photo]

Hundreds of angry protesters, some carrying firearms, gathered at Michigan’s State Capitol in Lansing on Thursday to protest against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request to extend the state of emergency to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The protests came as state legislators debated a measure refusing the governor's request and voted to authorise a lawsuit challenging her authority and actions to combat the pandemic.


US doctors go online to reveal 'bold, loud' coronavirus truths <https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/doctors-online-reveal-bold-loud-coronavirus-truths-200401130420720.html?utm_source=website&utm_medium=article_page&utm_campaign=read_more_links>
What and who is behind the US anti-lockdown protests? <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/anti-lockdown-protests-200420180415064.html?utm_source=website&utm_medium=article_page&utm_campaign=read_more_links>
US medical workers stand up to anti-lockdown protesters <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/medical-workers-stand-anti-lockdown-protesters-200420145258308.html?utm_source=website&utm_medium=article_page&utm_campaign=read_more_links>
At one point during the legislative deliberations, dozens of protesters - many without face coverings and some with rifles slung around their chests - entered the Capitol and demanded to be let into the House chamber, which was closed to the public to allow room for representatives and reporters to spread apart. The crowd shouted, "Let us in" while mask-wearing sergeants and state police blocked them.

Demonstrators were allowed in the state Senate, which has fewer members and remained in session to also authorise legal action.

Firearms have been legally allowed in the Michigan state Capitol building for some time.

Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg <https://twitter.com/hashtag/mileg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs <https://t.co/voOZpPYWOs>
— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020 <https://twitter.com/SenPolehanki/status/1255899318210314241?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>

The protest appeared to be the largest in the state since April 15, when supporters and allies of President Donald Trump organised thousands of people for "Operation Gridlock", jamming the streets of Lansing with their cars to call out what they said was the overreach of Whitmer’s strict stay-at-home order.

It was one of the country’s first major anti-lockdown rallies and helped sparked a wave of similar events nationwide.

The slow reopening of state economies around the country has taken on political overtones, as Republican politicians and individuals affiliated with Trump’s re-election promoted protests in electoral battleground states such as Michigan.

"Governor Whitmer, and our state legislature, it’s over with. Open this state," Mike Detmer, a Republican candidate for US Congress told the crowd. "Let’s get businesses back open again. Let’s make sure there are jobs to go back to."

At the MI Capitol pic.twitter.com/IuYoBhstIg <https://t.co/IuYoBhstIg>
— Anna Liz Nichols (@annaliznichols) April 30, 2020 <https://twitter.com/annaliznichols/status/1255899730888011777?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
Other speakers at the "American Patriot Rally," which had different organisers to the mid-April protest, questioned the deadliness of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. They also said Whitmer’s stay-at-home order violated constitutional rights, and urged people to open their businesses on May 1 in disregard of her order.

Protesters, many from more rural parts of Michigan, have argued it has crippled the economy statewide even though the majority of deaths from the virus are centred on the southeastern Detroit metro area.

Protest moves inside Michigan Capitol. Crowd attempts to get onto Hoise floor. Lots of Michigan State Police and House sergeants at arms blocking door. pic.twitter.com/4FNQpimP4W <https://t.co/4FNQpimP4W>
— Rod Meloni (@RodMeloni) April 30, 2020 <https://twitter.com/RodMeloni/status/1255901755474403328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
Whitmer's stay-at-home order, the strictest in the US, is in effect through May 15. House Republicans wanted changes, such as allowing elective medical and dental procedures again and certainty on the date she plans to reopen the economy on a regional basis. Meanwhile, the governor has allowed some businesses, such as lawn-care companies and greenhouses, to resume operating.

Many states, including Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska, South Carolina, and Ohio, have already moved to restart parts of their economies following weeks of mandatory lockdowns that have thrown nearly one in six American workers out of their jobs.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) 

CURRENT / RECENT publications :

Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
SUBSCRIBE TO World Social Movement Discuss, an open, unmoderated, and self-organising forum on social and political movement at any level (local, national, regional, and global).  To subscribe, simply send an empty email to wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net <mailto:wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.openspaceforum.net/pipermail/wsm-discuss/attachments/20200430/8bc3bd83/attachment.htm>

More information about the WSM-Discuss mailing list