Scuffles at Michigan anti-lockdown protest

Scuffles broke out at an anti-lockdown protest outside the Michigan state capitol on Thursday that involved a man with a Barbie on a noose and, local media reported, a garbage can with an axe inside, but police quickly broke it up.

The protesters outside Michigan's state Capitol in Lansing on Thursday -- some bearing firearms including long guns -- were denouncing Governor Gretchen Whitmer's recent extension to a stay-at-home order until at least May 28th.

It's the third but smallest such protest since public businesses were forced to close in March at the recommendation of health experts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Many of the protesters focused their anger squarely on the governor.

Debate over how and when to ease restrictions on commerce and social life have grown increasingly politicized, with President Trump and his supporters agitating to loosen social-distancing measures more swiftly than medical experts deem prudent…

But Democratic governors of states hardest hit by the outbreak have taken a cautious stance.

Michigan's Thursday protest was similar to one on April 30th when armed militia members and hundreds more entered the legislative building calling for a reopening of the economy in images that went viral.

But the Capitol building was closed Thursday because the legislature had been adjourned… and there was a large police presence.

Michigan had the fourth highest death toll from COVID-19 in the United States as of Thursday, at over nearly 5,000 dead among its 48,000 plus confirmed cases.