The rightwing groups behind wave of protests against Covid-19 restrictions - 2020-04-17
A wave of planned anti-lockdown demonstrations that have broken out around the country to protest the efforts of state governments to combat the coronavirus pandemic with business closures and stay-at-home orders have included far-right groups as well as more mainstream Republicans.
While protesters in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and other states claim to speak for ordinary citizens, many are also supported by street-fighting rightwing groups like the Proud Boys, conservative armed militia groups, religious fundamentalists, anti-vaccination groups and other elements of the radical right.
On Wednesday in Lansing, Michigan, a protest put together by two Republican-connected not-for-profits was explicitly devised to cause gridlock in the city, and for a time blocked the entrance to a local hospital.
It was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, which Michigan state corporate filings show has also operated under the name of Michigan Trump Republicans. It was also heavily promoted by the Michigan Freedom Fund, a group linked to Trump cabinet member Betsy DeVos.