As we have noted, the evolution of the virus pandemic is not just a public health crisis nor a financial meltdown but could transform into a social unraveling. And, oh boy, it appears we could be right.
But before we cover today's events. Several weeks ago, what piqued our interest was a warning from the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies of how "a social bomb" was ready to explode over major Western cities "in a few weeks." And it appears, those few weeks have just expired, as protests begin:
On Wednesday afternoon, massive crowds, organized by a conservative group, have surrounded Michigan's state Capitol building. Protestors are angry at Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) stay-at-home public health order during the pandemic.
Supporters of the Michigan Conservative Coalition have requested Whitmer to reopen the economy on May 1 and ease restrictions to return life to normal.
WWJ Newsradio 950's Charlie Langton said organizers are calling the movement "Operation Gridlock." Langton tweeted a video of a traffic jam of protestors that "extends for miles outside Lansing," waiting to get to the Capitol.
WOOD-TV's Heather Walker provides coverage from within Operation Gridlock as people use their cars to lockdown streets around the Capitol building. Walker interviewed several Michiganders, who are fed up with the public health order and want the economy to reopen. Many said they could make their own health decisions and don't need the government to tell them what to do.
'GOVERNOR, OPEN OUR ECONOMY ON MAY 1 AND RESPECT OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS.'— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) April 15, 2020
Wild scene in Lansing, Michigan as hundreds of people protest the state's stay-at-home order.
Team coverage from @WOODTV's @_HeatherWalker and @LeonHendrix. pic.twitter.com/CySg9Y6Nx8
Some protestors were dressed in body armor, wielding AR-15s.
In what looks like Revolutionary times, some protestors were riding horses.
More views of people with body armor and weapons at the steps of the Capitol.
Here's another view of the protestors locking down streets.
People are not happy about the public health order that has collapsed their local economy.
More people with weapons.
WOOD-TV's Blake Harms shows a traffic map of how Operation Gridlock has caused severe traffic jams in Lansing.
By mid-afternoon, it appears the Capitol building has been surrounded by cars.
Another view of the highway around Lansing shows a massive traffic jam of protestors.
This is westbound 496 more than a mile out of Lansing, MI. Many local news stations are saying that dozens of people showed up. More like dozens of thousands!#OperationGridlock pic.twitter.com/E4a9qUayEi— My3sonshine (@my3sonshine) April 15, 2020
After a month of lockdowns, slamming the local economy into depression, with hundreds of thousands of job losses, people are starting to get angry and are now locking down roadways around the Lansing Capitol building demanding the governor reverse the public health order.
How long until Operation Gridlock spreads to other US cities?