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Thousands surround Michigan Capitol in protest of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home orders


'Citizens are frankly tired of being treated like babies. As adults, we now know what needs to be done to stay safe.'

(JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands of protesters descended on the Michigan Capitol in Lansing on Wednesday, jamming the streets while waving flags and chanting "lock her up" in a demonstration against the restrictive stay-at-home mandates ordered by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

What are the details?

The Michigan Conservative Coalition and Michigan Freedom Fund organized the demonstration, dubbed "Operation Gridlock," urging Michiganders to drive around the Capitol at "high noon" and encouraging citizens to "honk horns, paint cars or bring signs" in protest of the governor's executive orders — some of the most restrictive in the nation to be imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers told participants to remain in their vehicles, but several demonstrators took to the Capitol steps with signs and flags to show their disdain for the state's lockdown. NBC News reported that protesters chanted "Open up Michigan" and "Lock her up!" in reference to Whitmer, who is also facing a petition for her recall.

"Citizens are frankly tired of being treated like babies," Michigan Conservative Coalition co-founder Marian Sheridan told the outlet ahead of the rally. "As adults, we now know what needs to be done to stay safe."

Michigan State Police estimated that somewhere 3,000 to 4,000 people showed up to the protest.

Gov. Whitmer argued on NBC's Today show that since there was still snow on the ground in some areas with more in the forecast, "the fact that we're cracking down on people traveling between homes or planting or landscaping or golfing really for a couple more weeks isn't going to meaningfully impact people's ability to do it because the snow will do that in and of itself."

Anything else?

Also on Wednesday, four county sheriffs joined forces and issued a statement announcing they refuse to strictly enforce some of Whitmer's mandates, saying, "While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority." The press released was signed by Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich, Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel, Manistee County Sheriff Ken Falk, and Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.

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