After the armed rallies, opponents of containment in Michigan took scissors and clippers on Wednesday to demand the reopening of businesses in this northern state of the United States by offering free haircuts.
Several hundred protesters lined up in front of the Lansing Capitol, the seat of local government, where several hairdressers had set up for the fourth anti-restrictions demonstration in more than a month.
At the end of April, armed demonstrators entered the Capitol to demand the relaxation of the measures put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Michigan, one of the most affected in the country with more than 5,000 deaths linked to Covid-19, is a hot spot in the debate on the reopening of the American economy despite the pandemic.
Under the bright sun, the crowd waited patiently for their turn without respecting the barrier gestures and many customers did not wear masks. But the hairdresser’s seats were disinfected after each cut.
The demonstration was organized by local conservative groups in support of Karl Manke, a hairdresser who had his license revoked after opening his salon in early May in Owosso, near Lansing, in violation of measures to close businesses deemed non-essential.
Massages were also offered on Wednesday, for a fee of a few dollars.
Some protesters were waving American flags and placards denouncing Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who extended containment measures until May 28.
“Whitmer kills small businesses,” said a sign.
The Democratic governor, visiting the center of the state to assess the situation after a flood, said she understood the frustration of the demonstrators.
“Everyone has made sacrifices. Many are in mourning after losing loved ones, they have lost a job, a business that may not survive, ”she said.
“But in the midst of a pandemic, I ask people not to demonstrate in such a way as to expose themselves or others to a prolonged health crisis,” she said.
“If people demonstrate, I ask them to wear masks and stand six feet (1.80 m) away, and if they don’t we will take action,” she said. on guard.
Police gave hairdressers several warnings, participants said.