Michigan’s right-wing militia groups are planning to rally on May 14th to defy stay-at-home orders imposed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The armed conservatives have been gathering in the streets for a while now, protesting the quarantine guidelines that are supposed to stop the spread of COVID-19. In Michigan, the virus has already claimed almost 4,700 lives, but this didn’t stop the protesters who have eventually turned to threats and other intimidation tactics. On May 11th Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel, announced that the state was investigating a series of “credible threats” against local Democratic politicians.
Back in April 30th, the first groups of right-wing protesters armed with assault rifles marched inside the Capitol building in Lansing. During the Michigan Senate session on May 12th Democratic lawmakers called for action to limit guns on the Capitol grounds. Senator Mallory McMorrow also mentioned the nature of threats aimed at Gov. Whitney, the Detroit News reports. According to her, it was not about the stay-at-home order, but about “spreading blood on the front lawn of this building.”
A Facebook group titled “Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine” has been a platform for various calls for Whitmer’s assassination, reports the Guardian. One user is quoted as saying “Wonder how long till she’s hit with a shotgun blast,” while another says that May 14th protesters in Lansing should be “armed to the teeth” because “voting is too late.”
Republican politics are publicly condemning the protesters as well, with Senator Mike Shirkey calling them “thugs” whose tactics are “despicable.”
However, the Republican party, which controls both the legislature and the Michigan State Capitol Commission, is not rushing to put a ban on open carry, which was requested by the Dems.
Meanwhile, Gov. Whitmer does not dispute the right to protest but asks the participants to follow at least some anti-spread measures.
“I would appreciate it if others would do their part to try and lower the heat,” she said during her press conference on May 11th. “If you choose to demonstrate I ask that you wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others.”