Protesters in opposition of stay-home order gather at Michigan capitol

you're looking live at our state capital surrounded by protesters this known those descending on Lansing are upset with the governor's executive orders that have forced many businesses to close those executive orders are designed to slow the spread of coronavirus a disease that so far has killed 1768 people

in Michigan and more than 26,000 people across the country thank you for joining us today at noon and we are certainly in for a wild day in our state our team is here to bring it to you live our crews are trying to stay safe while also showing

you what's happening in our state capitol today political reporter Rick Albin kicks off our team coverage from Lansing right now Rick well Emily there are a lot of cars as you can tell and they have been here since very early this morning in fact when I got here

a little before 9:00 people had already taken parking spaces all the way around to capital then by 11 o'clock this morning the place was filled all these lanes were filled with cars and they just stuck they stopped at the corner of Allegan and Capitol and just didn't move

organizers finally came along and moved part of this line along but they went about a block and they stopped again so effectively nobody has moved out of those lanes of traffic or on Allegan Street in the last hour or so I looked all the way down Capitol and

all the way down Michigan as far as you can see there are cars but they're not going to get anywhere until some of these folks start moving I've seen no police presence to move them along as I say some of the organizers did move that first group down

but they went down about a block and then they stopped all of this is in response as you pointed out to the governor's orders cardamom to try and get used to the new all of this in response to the governor's orders for people to stay at home and

there are all kinds of signs on cars that talk about liberty and being locked out and quarantined and I need to work earlier today the governor was on The Today Show and she talked about those orders Michigan has the third most coveted 19 cases in the nation right

now and we are not the third largest state in the nation that tells you we've got a unique crisis on our hands and that demands a unique solution so we just had snow I've got snow on the ground here in Michigan right now in Lansing we're expecting you

know up to 30 inches in the Upper Peninsula the fact that we're cracking down on people traveling between homes or planting or landscaping or golfing really for a couple more weeks isn't going to meaningfully impact people's ability to do it because the snow will do that in and

of itself but the more people that are traveling the more people that touch that gas pump is we know that kovat 19 can last for 72 hours on stainless steel so think about the people that have to touch that gas pump the nurses and the police and the

paramedics and the pharmacists and the food clerks that are this true here superheroes now if we're all traveling and touching the same that means we're spreading kovat 19 and might actually take people off the front line who we desperately need to so unless it's a life-sustaining activity we're

asking people to stay home to do their part and for a couple more weeks to really buckle down we're seeing our curves start to flatten but we all have to continue doing our part so the governor while she wants people to stay at home is looking at the

window if she's in her office at this crowd of people who have come out here today to protest those very orders now we anticipate this is going to go on for the next hour or so but at some point I also anticipate that these vehicles are going to

be told to move along because as I say they're just setting it's off lights here at the corner of Allegan and Capitol and there are cars backed up presumably four miles down Michigan and Capitol will continue to stay here and cover with our team coverage live in Lansing

Rick Albin news 8 okay Rick thank you for that we're gonna go now to Heather Walker she's also in Lansing continuing our team coverage Heather what are you saying operation gridlock is underway and we are in the middle of it take a look at these we've got three

lanes of traffic right now on Capitol in front of the Capitol people have lined up in their cars they've come from all over this state with the governor and the stay-at-home order they say they're ready for this order to be lifted we want to get back to work

they want to get back to doing things that they love like fishing and golfing we saw a couple people huh [Music] a lot of people have been honking and gathering since about nine o'clock this morning these official protests just getting underway here and basically what people are saying

when we stop and talk to them is that they think that people are smart enough to make their own decisions to stay safe during this Perona virus outbreak without being told what to do ma'am can you tell me why did you come out here today I'm a state

representative from 100 a second district and I'm just here to support my people I have a lot of constituents down here right now telling you what are your constituents telling you they want to go back to work if they can't access the website to get the benefits then

they want to go back to her and nobody's suggesting we just go willy-nilly go back to work we're recommending we adapted the size of federal guidelines and do it safely thank you is the message that we keep hearing over and over from different people we talked to a

landscaper from our area we talked to a woman who does detailing in the Hudsonville area all of them without work right now they say they need to put food on the table they've got to pay their bills and they governor to reopen their businesses allow people to make

safe decisions and that's why they all gather here today to make those voices hard we're gonna throw it back to you for now reporting live on Capitol Avenue Heather Walker news eight's okay Heather stay safe out there let's go to news 8's Leon Hendricks also out there he

has boots on the ground at the State Capitol Leon what are you seeing another incredible sight in this surreal ordeal as we battle this coronavirus pandemic the Capitol Steps the scene of a protest the whole idea here was that folks would stay in their car and participate in

this gridlock but we've seen a lot of folks who are saying they're not doing that they're here there on the Capitol Steps staging a more traditional protest here in front of the Capitol building in Lansing I want to show you one of the larger displays here a huge

sign that is out in the Capitol lawn it says security without Liberty is called prison an analogy they're using here to the situation that we have at present with the coronavirus lockdown we're going to walk up here and give you an idea of the feel some of these

people have there are a number of people here from West Michigan including some of these folks here that we get a chance to meet earlier today first of all tell us your name and what brought you out here my name is Joseph Dixon and I came out here

to support the Michigan businesses and stand up for the the rights of our fellow Michiganders and we believe that the governor has overreached and overstepped her rights with our freedoms are you concerned about this virus I was in the beginning until I've done my research and found out

the realities and the the media's overreach on it and that it's not as serious as they made it out to be and that's why I am here because I feel that they are overreaching overreacting and crushing our small businesses crushing our economy I see you're wearing a mask

so you fear to have some level of concern yes well I have concern I have just common courtesy for people I might be here today I might be a Republican but I have common sense and I do have concern and respect for everybody what would you say to

the governor she's listening right now I'll take governor open our economy on May first and respect our rights and our freedoms all right that's a little bit of the sentiment we're hearing here a lot of these folks a number of them that we've spoken to our small business

owners are or are here on behalf of those folks who say simply they want to see people get back to work some more folks here that we might be able to speak with sir what brought you out here where are you from I'm from Jackson Michigan and what

brought me out here is I'm a small business owner and she's putting me out of business what type of business do you I own a painting company what would be your message if the governor is listening to listen to the people we have common sense we're not children

we know what's right from what's wrong and how to take care of ourselves I've had a quadruple bypass I've had a heart attack a stroke and I'm still not afraid to go out in public it's how you take care of yourself we're not like I said we're not

her children do you have any concern at all about this virus you said you've got some underlying condition I I have concerns about it I have concerns for the people that are I'm 62 but I call them elderly sickly really bad underlying conditions but if you take care

of yourself in follow common-sense stay away from people you know not totally stay away but you have to social distance a little bit but until this virus runs its course it's gonna stay here and all we're doing is hiding from it do you have any concern we've seen

a lot of people out here that are obviously like you not in your cars do you have any concern that this gathering might cause this virus to spread further it will a little but I don't think it's to the extent that they're trying to make it out to

be again it's a virus it's got to spread and until people start getting an immune system to it it's going to continue to do this and what will we will never get away from it until we get an immunity to it alright thank you sir appreciate it all

the way from Jackson one of the small business owners who is here and represented in a crowd of hundreds of people who are gathered here on the Capitol Steps a number of them have signed one here in the front foreground says recall Whitmer now we see a number

of American flags a lot of those red make America great again hats folks certainly having a political feeling that goes associated with this situation but it's a it's quite the site here on the Capitol Steps it's called it has been snowy but it's not tempered down the the

spirit and the feeling that these folks have about letting their voices be heard in opposition to the governor's executive orders connected to the coronavirus Emily Leon Hendrix in Lansing we will be checking back in with Leon and Heather and Rick again and our team coverage continues right now

Tom Hillen is working to give us on perspective and just how many drivers are descending on Lansing right now Tom hey good afternoon Emily we're gonna take a look at the map of Lansing which really can give us some data that we can see how far this traffic

is backing up so you can see this is the main thoroughfare into downtown Lansing 496 and that right now completely J end up with cars unfortunately we do not have available any MDOT cameras in this area so we can't show you what it actually looks like right there

but you can also see these red and yellow lines of gridlock completely surrounding almost a mile in any direction that Capitol area and unfortunately again we don't get any data coming in from the smaller streets in and around the Capitol where we've seen Rick Leone and Heather but

you can see that the gridlock is spreading far out and wide and continuing to slowly start to back up the highway heading into downtown Lansing of course we'll continue to track this and we'll update you again at 12:30 Emily

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