A bunch of armed loons showed up at the Michigan state Capitol in Lansing Thursday to once more demand an end to the state’s stay at home order. But this time they weren’t able to go inside and scream in cops’ faces or walk around with guns in the House gallery, because the Legislature decided to adjourn Wednesday without holding a planned Thursday session. The state House and Senate will instead return to work on Tuesday. The Detroit News reports about 300 protesters showed up this time, considerably fewer than the April 30 right-wing rally for the right to spread infectious disease without constraint, as the Founders wanted.
Yesterday’s rally was organized by a group calling itself “Michigan United for Liberty,” yet another wingnut group connected to anti-vaxxer death cults. The group gave the protest the not-at-all-threatening theme “Judgement Day.” But that can’t be threatening, not with a friendly font like this!
The armed crowd also included members of the “Michigan Liberty Militia,” which we’ll assume isn’t formally related to the anti-vaxxers, but who knows — they’re all united by a desire to give the word “Liberty” a bad name, and to breathe freely right in your face, no matter what they’re infected with. (Freedom. They are infected with FREEDOM.)
The Liberty lovers’ private Facebook group was taken down by Facebook earlier this week after the Detroit Metro Times reported it was one of four Facebook groups filled with “paranoid, sexist, and grammar-challenged rants, with members encouraging violence” as well as brave manly vows to ignore Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s public health orders, because masks that could prevent them from spreading contagion are communist. Three other groups had messages deleted by Facebook for violating its rules, but remain up. Messages in the private groups called for Whitmer to be hanged, lynched, shot, beaten, beheaded, or otherwise subjected to other patriotic expressions of dissatisfaction with her tyranny, because that’s what America is all about. Here, have a sampling of patriotic free expression:
Ahead of an armed rally planned for the Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, this coming Thursday, groups are promoting violence against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Facebook, in violation of the social media company’s policies. #mileg
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 11, 2020
Republicans in the Michigan legislature condemned the threats earlier this week, but they haven’t yet signed on to a proposed resolution by Democratic state Sen. Dayna Polehanki that would ban firearms from the Capitol building, except for guns carried by law enforcement. In a floor speech, Polehanki said she supported the right to protest and the right to bear arms, but for fuck’s sake. She also noted that Michigan is alone among midwestern states in allowing guns inside its Capitol building, as if the good people of the Wolverine state needed to kowtow to what those socialists in Indiana or Iowa think.
Days ago, men in combat gear with rifles around their necks taunted us, and the world saw it and the world was aghast. […] Intimidating us with guns is an affront to the democratic process.
Looks like somebody doesn’t understand that the only reason she has freedom of speech is that armed civilians are willing to shoot her to protect the First Amendment and the rest of the Constitution.
One gentleman, perhaps inspired by George Washington, showed up for the protest carrying an axe, which somehow made people carrying semiautomatic rifles nervous. Axe-man got involved in a scuffle that involved another gentleman — perhaps a spiritual successor of James Madison — who had a naked Barbie doll hanging from a noose tied to his American flag. As far as we can tell, axe guy came to the defense of noose guy after a woman tried to take the naked Barbie away. Happily, no arms were fired or chopped off.
Extremely strange situation at the re-open rally in Michigan.
A man with an ax showed up, somehow causing much more chaos and fear than the multiple men with guns. pic.twitter.com/d3pIPT6v4e
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 14, 2020
It’s not entirely clear whether the Federalists or the Whigs came out on top of the intense discussion. WXYZ reports no arrests were made, but the axe was confiscated. The Detroit News adds that as Noose Guy was escorted into the Capitol for his safety,
The crowd yelled at the police, saying they paid for the officers’ salaries and that they should arrest Whitmer.
Those Blue Lives sure matter, don’t they? Also, what the hell is this bullshit from that WXYZ story?
Unlike two weeks ago, the legislature is not in session, so protestors – armed or not – didn’t have access to inside the capitol.
Seems a tad disingenuous to note the Lege was “not in session” without mentioning the session was cancelled because armed crazy people threatening violence were anticipated.
In conclusion, it’s only May, Michigan’s stay at home order remains in place until the end of the month, and we have a long six months, and possibly a massive second wave of coronavirus outbreaks, until the election.