'Operation Gridlock' organizers chide protesters for getting out of their cars, say there will be no more rallies


The organizers of "Operation Gridlock," last week's protest of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home coronavirus prevention efforts, have distanced themselves from those who got out of their cars and disobeyed social distancing guidelines.

"We want to thank all of you who participated in Operation Gridlock and followed the rules of STAYING IN YOUR CAR," the Michigan Conservative Coalition wrote on Facebook, adding, "It’s unfortunate that some groups chose to protest on the capitol lawn."

The group also says they will not be calling for any further Operation Gridlock protests.

"Our mission to get the Governor’s attention has been successful," they wrote. "Now we wait to see how she will react. ... We pray the Governor looks now to lift the ban and safely get Michigan back to work!"

The message comes amid backlash to Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs, who was spotted walking around at Operation Gridlock. Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier has called for Gibbs to resign.

"I broke no law. I'm not in trouble. I did nothing to justify a request to resign," Gibbs told the Detroit Free Press.

Violating Michigan's stay-at-home order can result in a $1,000 fine. Only one person was arrested at Operation Gridlock, for assault against another protester.

Gov. Whitmer defended her executive order, saying the decline in coronavirus deaths in Michigan is proof that it is working. But Michigan's economy is unlikely to re-open any time soon. Whitmer has said that efforts need to be slow and deliberate so as not to spark a second wave of the virus.

So far, Michigan has more than 33,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 2,700 deaths, making it the state with the third-highest number of cases. You can read about why Michigan was hit harder than its neighboring states in this week's issue.

You can read the full Michigan Conservative Coalition statement below.

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