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Demonstrators at Michigan state Capitol protest stay-at-home order

 

A crowd of protesters organized by a conservative group descended on Michigan's state Capitol on Wednesday to protest Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerWhite House faces new obstacles in COVID-19 fight Watch live: Whitmer provides update on COVID-19 in Michigan Multiple GOP Michiganders test positive for COVID-19 after district meeting MORE's (D) stay-at-home order during the coronavirus outbreak.

Supporters of the Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC) urged Whitmer to reopen the state's nonessential businesses on May 1 while urging their own members to practice social distancing during the "Operation Gridlock" protest, local news radio station WWJ reported.

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Video of the event posted on Twitter showed some demonstrators on the Capitol steps while others remained in their vehicles, honking loudly.

“When did one size solve everyone’s local issues?" one unidentified organizer asked WWJ. "Gov. Whitmer will put you out of business before allowing mere citizens to be responsible for their own behavior. That is madness.”

Whitmer has ordered Michigan residents to stay at home unless performing essential tasks until April 30, and has closed nonessential businesses in the state, though activists are complaining about which businesses have been allowed to stay open — as well as the de facto cancellation of Easter and Passover services.

In a statement at a news conference earlier this week, the governor pointed out that the MCC is funded in large part by the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Education Department moves to reverse Trump-era rules on campus sexual misconduct Watchdog says DeVos made nine figures in outside income during Trump years MORE, which is very active in Michigan conservative politics.

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"This group is funded in large part by the DeVos family," she said Monday, according to WWJ. "And I think it's really inappropriate for a sitting member of the United States president's Cabinet to [be] waging political attacks on any governor."

Whitmer added: "I think that they should disavow it, and I encourage people to stay home and be safe."