Stylists ticketed for cutting hair on Michigan Capitol lawn to protest lockdown

Seven hairdressers were ticketed this week for offering haircuts on the Michigan state Capitol lawn as part of a protest against stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports.

During a Wednesday protest, at least a dozen barbers and stylists brought clippers and card tables to the Capitol and offered haircuts. The demonstrations, which were dubbed Operation Haircut, were intended to bring attention to the impact of stay-at-home orders on their businesses businesses, NPR reported.

The hairdressers were ticketed for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, after being warned by police, The Associated Press reported. Disorderly conduct is punishable by up to a $500 fine, 90 days in jail or both.

The Wednesday protest was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition to oppose the statewide measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Approximately 300 people attended the demonstration, the AP reported.

Few people were maintaining social distancing and there were no temperature checks before protesters were allowed to join the demonstration, NPR reported. Protesters were also mostly not wearing masks.

Protest organizers previously said that the demonstration was inspired by Michigan barber Karl Manke, whose license was revoked earlier this month by state regulators after he reopened his shop.

Manke attended the protest and told the AP he “will not stand down”

Another Michigan hairdresser, Angela Rigas, told the AP that she was ticketed after refusing to stop cutting hair multiple times.

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“We’re all here for the same reason today — to show the governor that our rights do not come from her and that we need to open Michigan. People need to get back to work,” she told the outlet. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) stay-at-home order has been the target of protests in the state’s capital as residents call for the regulation to be lifted amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Across the state, there have been nearly 53,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5,000 deaths.

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