Michigan’s next protest will have a handful of defiant residents armed with scissors and hair clippers, ignoring social distancing protections to the extreme.
LANSING, MI — The group behind the first coronavirus-related Lansing protest, Operation Gridlock, has launched the plan for the fourth. This time, it’s Operation Haircut.
Yes, they plan to defy social distancing measures and cut each other’s hair on the Capitol lawn.
Cutting hair became a flashpoint in the fight over protections to stem the tide of the novel coronavirus pandemic when a barber in Owosso, Mich. reopened his shop in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders. As The ‘Gander reported, local police refused to enforce the orders prompting Whitmer to pull the permits that allowed the barber to do business.
That barber ultimately lost his license for not complying with the law.
Things like barbershops, salons and similar businesses are not in the first phases of Gov. Whitmer’s economic re-engagement plan as they can’t be conducted while adhering to social distancing. This makes them an exceptionally high-risk environment for potentially spreading the novel coronavirus. Based on how the MI Safe Start plan assesses risk, it could be months before these businesses can fully do their jobs safely in the wake of the pandemic.
Still, Operation Haircut protesters plan to come to Lansing Wednesday and cut hair on the lawn of the Capitol Building.
“A 77-year-old barber became a leader in our state with the first person brave enough to risk his license, to stand up to our governor,” protest organizer Meshawn Maddock told the Hill. “We are proud of him, and we were impressed by him. And immediately a lot of other hair stylists, barbers and all that kind of service reached out to us and said, ‘What can I do?'”
The group behind the protest, the Michigan Conservative Coalition, also launched the Operation Gridlock protest that started the ball rolling on the increasingly intimidating and strange protests that have followed.
As The ‘Gander reported, the Michigan Conservative Coalition is funded by Greg McNeilly, a political adviser to the DeVos family whose notable members include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos.
The ‘Gander also reported that the last Michigan Conservative Coalition protest was fueled in no small part by disinformation and misinformation. And racism.
As The ‘Gander also reports, the legislature was already on board with most of what the protestors are demanding, but with a timeline rooted in safety and science to effectively flatten Michigan’s curve.
Michigan has been among the hardest hit states in the country, with top deaths reported and a case fatality rate higher than the rest of the nation.
This Wednesday, protesters will take to the lawn of the capitol with hair clippers, scissors, capes and hand sanitizer to cut one another’s hair. If that sounds unusual, last Thursday’s “Judgment Day” makes it seem everyday. There, armed Pikachus were floating around and a Republican candidate running for local office touted a naked doll on a noose.
The protest also marks an acceleration of the pattern of protests that had until now emerged, following less than a week after the last as opposed to about two weeks as previous protests had.
Operation Haircut fits with the personal wishes of at least one Michigan lawmaker who is also losing his patience for cooperating with effective safety measures. But only some.
“I’m ready to go get a haircut,” Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) told the Atlantic. But movie theaters he’d pass on. “I got Netflix and Disney+ and Amazon Prime. I’m good.”