Protests are planned for several states in the coming weeks as Americans begin to push back against highly restrictive orders from governors, who have ordered residents to stay at home, shut down businesses and even cut off the purchase of seeds and plants.
One major protest is planned for noon on Wednesday, when some 15,000 cars and trucks are expected to encircle the state capital to protest Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s strict new guidelines, which ban “public and private gatherings of any size.”
“The so-called ‘drive-by’ demonstration – in order to maintain social distancing — aims to bring traffic to a gridlock in Lansing and protest the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by Whitmer, a Democrat, mandating what businesses could stay home, what some businesses could sell and ordering people in her state against any gatherings – no matter the size or family ties,” Fox News reports.
“Quarantine is when you restrict movement of sick people. Tyranny is when you restrict the movement of healthy people,” Meshawn Maddock, an organizer of the protest with the Michigan Conservative Coalition, told Fox News. “Every person has learned a harsh lesson about social distancing. We don’t need a nanny state to tell people how to be careful.”
The governor, who is on the short list of possible vice presidential candidates Joe Biden is considering, has come under fire for an expansive new order to lock down state residents during the coronavirus, forbidding anyone from buying seeds or plants. Retail garden centers have been ordered to close.
Michigan’s Republican Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield blasted Whitmer for making the “wrong call” and “bad for Michigan families.”
“Instead of essential vs non-essential, we should think safe vs unsafe,” Chatfield wrote on Twitter on Friday. “In Michigan, these are currently not allowed: — Lawn care — Construction — Buying home improvement materials — Buying seeds & plants — Fishing if a motor is used (Just to name a few. All these are safe. But the Governor says no. We can ensure safety & be reasonable. Let’s do both,” he wrote.
More than 200,000 people have signed a Change.org petition that demands the recall of Whitmer.
“Recall Governor Whitmer,” the petition says. “Her failure’s during the Covid-19 Corona Virus is causing more Michiganders to get sick. Closing and banning various non essential business[es] and activities while leaving others open. Further promoting the pandemic. She has lied since day one with her #Fixthedamnroads which she has failed to do anything in this regards,” the petition says, citing other policies Whitmer has put in place that “clearly shows her lack of anything positive for the State of Michigan.”
The same sentiment is growing in North Carolina, as noted by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson: “Now this is viral growth: a North Carolina Facebook group called #ReopenNC began last Thursday and has 21,000 members already; it is calling for a protest tomorrow. North Carolina, population 10.4 million, has 81 #COVID deaths and 331 people hospitalized.”
Now this is viral growth: a North Carolina Facebook group called #ReopenNC began last Thursday and has 21,000 members already; it is calling for a protest tomorrow. North Carolina, population 10.4 million, has 81 #COVID deaths and 331 people hospitalized.https://t.co/zw43IUi4gW
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) April 13, 2020
“We are residents of North Carolina that stand for The Constitution and demand our officials Reopen NC no later than April 29, 2020,” the ReopenNC Facebook page says. “We are losing our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. The shutdown is not warranted, nor sustainable for our area. The vulnerable can be isolated or protected in other ways, without sacrificing our entire state economy. It’s important to note, several other states have not enacted stay at home orders.”
And Ohio has already seen protests.
“Last Thursday, dozens of protestors carrying placards and wearing Guy Fawkes masks ignored Ohio’s social-distancing guidelines to demonstrate on steps of the state’s capital building in Columbus against Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, and his administration’s handling of the outbreak,” Fox News reported. “Demonstrators held signs reading ‘Open Ohio,’ ‘Quarantine worse than virus,’ and Social distancing or social conditioning. We do not consent.'”