Hillary Clinton is condemning armed protests calling for the end to stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, calling the demonstrations “domestic terrorism.”
“Armed men storming a legislature to disrupt its democratic proceedings is domestic terrorism. It cannot be tolerated,” Clinton tweeted Friday.
Her tweet linked to an article by Newsweek about Michigan choosing to close down its Capitol and cancel its legislative session after armed protests and death threats to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
On Thursday, armed protesters had gathered outside the state Capitol for planned “judgment day” demonstrations against the state’s stay-at-home order, which opponents have demanded be lifted businesses and the economy suffer during the pandemic.
Some 200 protesters turned out for Thursday’s event, where one demonstrator was seen carrying an American flag with a doll hanging by a noose. The event mirrored a similar protest at the end of April, during which hundreds of protesters — many armed with rifles — entered the Capitol.
One man is reportedly facing charges over death threats to Whitmer, and Newsweek reports there have been posts online calling to lynch her as well as suggestions to crowdfund for a hitman.ADVERTISEMENT
State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) condemned the threats as “despicable.”
“Those who have populated a number of social media posts with crude, violent and threatening messages about our governor, these folks are thugs and their tactics are despicable,” he said, according to The Detroit News.
Whitmer has stood by her stay-at-home order and has asserted protesters’ right to assembly and free speech, but has cautioned them to try to maintain social distance during their demonstrations.
President Trump has offered his support to protesters demonstrating against certain state orders, even as individual governors have adopted guidelines suggested by his administration.
“Some governors have gone too far. Some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate,” Trump told reporters last month, initially refusing to name specific states before highlighting Virginia and Michigan. “I think, in the end, it’s not going to matter because we’re starting to open up our states. And I think they’re going to open up very well.”
News [email protected] THEHILL