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 WhitmerBiden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down Whitmer met with Biden days before VP announcement: report The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election 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 DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosStudents at school system Pence called 'forefront' of reopening now in quarantine The Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Democrats look to go on offense in debate over reopening schools 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."