HUNDREDS of furious protestors, some carrying guns, gathered at Michigan’s state capitol building on Thursday to demand an end to the coronavirus crisis lockdown and the reopening of businesses.
The ‘American Patriot Rally’ demonstration in the city of Lansing came as state legislators inside the building debated an extension of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s confinement order.
Protestors waved US flags, chanting “Let us in!” and “This is the people’s house, you cannot lock us out.”
At one point several dozen, most of them not wearing face masks, and a few openly bearing firearms, pushed their way inside. They insisted on being allowed into the chamber where the debate was being held, but were blocked by police.
State Senator Dayna Polehanki was in the building at the 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,” she posted on Twitter.
Earlier in the month thousands turned out for the anti-lockdown ‘Operation Gridlock’ in Lansing, jamming up streets around the statehouse with their cars to protest over Whitmore’s confinement order, one of the strictest in the US. Similar anti-lockdown rallies have been staged across the country.
They claim the stay-at-home orders are a violation of constitutional rights and are severely damaging the economy.
Michigan has been badly affected by Covid-19, registering more than 41,000 infections and nearly 3,800 fatalities.