A fight broke out between anti-lockdown protesters in Michigan after one of them started waving an American flag with a doll tied to the pole by a noose around his neck.
As gunmen gathered at the Michigan State Capitol to deny the governor’s orders to stay home, a man began waving his flag with the naked doll tied in one hand while carrying an ax in the other.
The skirmish erupted when another protester tried to grab the flag and the doll, saying it was “the wrong message” while another shouted “first amendment.”
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Two men struggled to control the ax before they separated and the police arrived at the scene.
A woman speaking to the crowd said the display was a hate crime that would not be tolerated in Michigan.
“What this guy did is called a hate crime. I do not give who you are. Stop, ”she says.
“Hate crimes are not tolerated in Michigan. End of the story. Ok. Just so you know, I’m going to fight physically if I have to. “
Michigan state police said an ax belonging to one of the men was taken and there were no injuries among the 200 protesters.
“We had an incident between two demonstrators which we are investigating in depth. There have been no injuries, no arrests so far, “said Lt. Brian Oleksyk, Michigan state police information officer, in a statement to The independent.
Organizers, Michigan United for Liberty, christened the rally “Judgment Day” to protest against the continued house arrest of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Whitmer recently extended the order to at least May 28, making it one of the strictest in the United States.
In a statement released before the rally, Michigan United for Liberty said it was protesting “extremely unconstitutional and extremely destructive executory decrees.”
“Our aim is to demonstrate massive opposition to Governor Whitmer’s rapt policies, and we ask each participant to be an effective representative of this message, through lawful and peaceful protests,” the group said.
Prior to the protest, Facebook removed the Michigan United private group for Liberty after comments allegedly threatened Ms. Whitmer and lawmakers.
Although firearms are allowed since Michigan is an open transportation state, law enforcement has issued a warning that anyone brandishing a gun with fearful intent could be arrested .
“Although our desire is to interfere as little as possible in the protests, we will not allow any illegal, threatening or intimidating behavior,” Michigan State police colonel Joe Gasper said in a statement. “Based on the security concerns expressed following previous protests, participants can expect to see an increased presence of the MSP. “
This was the third protest rally in Michigan since the state was locked out, with armed protesters previously entering the Capitol chanting “let us in” on April 30.
Members of the Michigan Freedom Militia had moved inside the building with several hundred protesters asking to be left on the floor of the house.
The group was also at the demonstration on Thursday, although the Capitol building was closed.