Michigan lawmakers decided to wear bulletproof vests to work Thursday as hundreds of armed protesters continue to defy lockdown orders outside the Michigan Capitol building in Lansing.
Several of the armed protesters were able to push their way inside while the Legislature was debating an extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump tweets “Liberate Michigan”.
Now armed gunmen are storming the Michigan State House. Police are having to protect Governor Whitmer.
This is what happens when ANY unhinged, angry, ignorant person can arm themselves so easily….pic.twitter.com/OlR8Zxt3bT
— Ryan Chase (@GunReformRyan) April 30, 2020
Protesters held signs, waved American flags and even carried firearms, while some chanted “Let us in!” and “This is the people’s house, you cannot lock us out.”
Others tried to get onto the House floor but were blocked by state police and sergeants-at-arms, according to NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit.
Democratic State Senator Dayna Polehanki revealed the protective decision some of her colleagues were making when sharing a picture of protesters on Twitter.
In the picture, multiple heavily armed men could be seen inside the Michigan State Capitol building.
She wrote: “Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bulletproof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today.”
Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs
— Senator Dayna Polehanki (@SenPolehanki) April 30, 2020
The senator shared a picture with The Independent of her colleague Senator Sylvia Santana, a Democrat, wearing a bulletproof vest and face mask while working.
Michigan United for Liberty organized the protest, dubbed the American Patriot Rally, to call for the reopening of businesses.
Protests in Lansing #Michigan starting to bear resemblance with militia parades in Middle East.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 30, 2020
Many demonstrators appeared to be supporters of President Donald Trump, donning “Make American Great Again” campaign hats and, in one instance, putting on a dance routine by two girls wearing masks that appeared to be of Trump and former President Barack Obama.
Now this is happening. pic.twitter.com/w1CkLB3T3s
— Leon Hendrix (@LeonHendrix) April 30, 2020