WATCH: Michigan residents rebuke leftist Gov. Whitmer, demand end to COVID lockdowns
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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, January 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Last Wednesday, January 13, Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s ban on indoor dining until February 1.
Whitmer has repeatedly argued that “the science” requires her to keep Michigan restaurants and bars closed in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Indoor dining was first suspended in the state nearly three months ago. Hundreds of businesses have been forced to permanently close their doors since then.
Despite the massive job loss – and a Michigan Supreme Court ruling in October that found Whitmer’s actions unconstitutional – the first-term liberal governor has not relented in issuing what many Michiganians now consider “tyrannical” executive orders.
On Friday, January 15, hundreds of fed-up restaurant owners, state lawmakers, and grassroots activists gathered at the DeltaPlex, an entertainment venue located in Grand Rapids, for a non-partisan rally to reopen the state.
Owner Joel Langlois opened his doors to the public at 6 p.m. Guests who came were able to buy gift cards from local businesses. Food and drinks were also available. Live music was played until 9:30 p.m. The festive atmosphere was a welcome experience for many Michigan couples itching to get out of their homes.
Langlois, a local businessman who ran for Congress against Peter Meijer in 2020, said Whitmer is only making the situation worse.
“We are one of three states in the country that has closed restaurants,” he told attendees. “We are the only state in the country that doesn’t have a written plan on how and when we are going to reopen.”
“These people don’t want a handout. They want to be open,” he informed LifeSite. “These small restaurants are the fabric of our communities.”
Nearly a dozen other prominent local figures addressed the crowd as well. Johnny Brann Sr., owner of Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille on the city’s west side, issued an emotional appeal to Whitmer. State Reps. Bryan Posthumus and Steve Carra also took the microphone to call on the state to be reopened.
Matthew Baker, an operations specialist at FLO’S Pizzeria, told LifeSite that Michigan’s laws have “decimated” their three, full-service restaurants.
“This sort of event here at the DeltaPlex is nice. It allows good people to have community together,” he said. “It’s also nice because it helps raise awareness and can send a message so employees who are laid off can have a voice. Governor Whitmer needs to let people make safe choices for themselves."
Dr. Garrett Soldano, founder and former president of Stand Up Michigan, a grassroots organization, gave a rousing speech calling on peopel to make their voices heard. Current Stand Up Michigan board member and co-founder Ron Armstrong sang the national anthem and spoke about the need to preserve individual liberties.
Langlois told LifeSite that the coronavirus threat is real but that the people of Michigan are smart enough to know how to take the proper precautions for it.
“Businesses need to be allowed to operate again,” he said. “We need to get the economy going again so restaurant owners can start to recover their livelihoods.”