Last week, I chose to exercise my First Amendment rights and participated in the protest at the State Capitol.
When I first arrived at about 11:10 am, Walnut Street was backed up all the way to I-496. I drove the “back roads” to the State Museum and got on Allegan Street, heading eastbound toward the Capitol building. I was in the middle of three lanes and moved about eight feet in ninety minutes.
Other cars and trucks around me had homemade signs, but most were waving the American flag. My favorite sign was, “I Can Smoke Grass But I Can’t Cut It.” Another was, “Stop Excessive Restrictions. We Can Work Safe. Let Us.” It was a festive, patriotic atmosphere with a lot of horn honking. There were three large semis about thirty yards behind me and their horns were loud. When one started honking, we all joined in and the sound bounced off the walls of the buildings around us.
It took me three and a half hours to make it to the Capitol - about a half mile. From what I could observe, the vehicles were mostly vans and trucks that were painted with company names of small businesses: lawn care businesses, painting, restaurants, tree services, and more. Each one represented a business owner who wants Michigan to get back to work –safely.
I’ve been involved in politics for over thirty years, yet the whole time I was at #OperationGridlock, I did not recognize one person: not one person from past GOP activities or any local Republican endeavor.
Thousands of Michigan citizens – patriots – gathered together to exercise their freedom of speech. Usually a crowd like this doesn’t gather because they are too busy working; since they have been ordered not to, they have the time to protest the unreasonable attack on their freedom. I was proud to be a part of it.
Norm Shinkle is an advisor to the Michigan Freedom Fund.