Armed protesters gather for planned 'judgment day' demonstration at Michigan Capitol

Armed protesters gathered outside the state Capitol in Michigan on Thursday for planned "judgment day" demonstrations against the state's stay-at-home order.

The protests follow previous large gatherings of activists at the Capitol.

The demonstration was organized by a conservative militia group, Michigan United for Liberty, The Associated Press reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Thursday morning, roughly 200 protesters gathered in the rain, a noticeably smaller demonstration compared to previous rallies, the report added.

Authorities have described previous protests as predominantly peaceful. However, demonstrators bringing firearms inside the Capitol building in late April have led some Democratic lawmakers to consider banning guns from the premises. 

This time, the Capitol was closed to the public. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In one video taken from Thursday's demonstrations, a person can be seen dangling a doll from a rope, before a tussle breaks out on the grounds outside the Capitol building, according to footage obtained by FOX17 in Michigan.

According to a report from Michigan Live, the small fight took place as one person tried to remove the hanging doll from the pole from which it was tied. Michigan police said there were no injuries and no arrests.

"We just encourage and ask everybody to be as peaceful as they can," Erica Pettinaro, a co-founder of Michigan United for Liberty, told the AP.

She added that some incidents from previous demonstrations became a "little overly passionate" and came off a "little strong." 

Michigan's state police director said laws would be enforced during Thursday's protests and authorities would respond if anyone brandished weapons or violated police orders.

Many previous demonstrations have shown protesters defying state orders by gathering without masks and standing close together.

Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerMichigan governor extends state of emergency due to COVID-19 through October Coronavirus lockdowns work Michigan resident puts toilet on front lawn with sign 'Place mail in ballots here' MORE (D) said Wednesday, "I don't particularly want to see people congregating, period. We know that contributes to spread."

"If people are going to come down and demonstrate, do it in a responsible way," Whitmer added, "That's what we ask."