Tuesday, January 25, 2022

'Gridlock 2.0' protest much smaller than the first

April 23, 2020
<p>Scene from the &quot;Operation Gridlock 2.0&quot; protest on April 22, 2020 around the Michigan Capitol Building.</p>

Scene from the "Operation Gridlock 2.0" protest on April 22, 2020 around the Michigan Capitol Building.

Photo by Kaishi Chhabra | The State News

The roads surrounding Michigan’s Capitol were supposed to be full of cars Wednesday as residents planned to protest against the extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s "Stay Home, Stay Safe Order"' Instead, only a handful of people showed up. 

"Operation Gridlock 2.0" was planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the event page on Facebook, which was taken down within a few hours. Even after being deleted, the event gained attention and was shared widely on other social media platforms.

“It’s becoming very disturbing, the way our government thinks they can just shut everything down,” Leila Wood, 21, said. “They’re becoming a tyranny and I think it says in the Declaration of Independence that we have the right and the responsibility to stand up, that we can’t just stay in our houses and let people lose their jobs and their dreams and their lives. They're shutting this all down based on inaccurate information and that can’t keep happening.”

Wood, was one of the few protestors who showed up at the state Capitol.

“I don’t think the governor should have the right to tell us not to assemble and to not go places and to not buy whatever we want to buy,” Michael Wood said. “I don’t think she’ll listen. But I hoping that our legislators will listen and curb her power.”

Susan Garrison came in support of Whitmer’s order. 

“She’s doing a great job. I support her all the way,” Garrison said. “I support her and I’m not into politics — I don’t like politics.”

Garrison, 65, lives in a senior citizen building and said she walked almost two miles to get to the Capitol. She has been at home for almost two months and said she wants to go to restaurants again.

“If we don’t do our part it's just gonna get worse,” Garrison said. “We still don’t know the numbers from the last time (the protest) was down here last week. What if there’s more spread? It's gonna get even worse, it’s gonna get shut down even worse ... I’m just trying to prove my point.”

James Murday said his biggest concern was his son who is incarcerated in Jackson, MI. Murday’s son has 10 months left of his sentence and is worried about getting infected with COVID-19.

“The only thing they’re giving them as far as cleaning everything is bleach,” Murday said. “Hopefully Whitmer starts doing something about inmate overcrowding.”

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