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Rally at Capitol attracts Trump supporters and Whitmer foes, but condemns kidnapping plot

people with signs standing outside state Capitol
Kevin Lavery

The group Stand Up Michigan rallied Thursday at the state Capitol in Lansing. The event came a few hours after news broke of the foiled alleged kidnapping plot against Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Stand Up Michigan’s self-proclaimed mission is to “reclaim and defend the rights and liberties” of citizens.  Many in the crowd carried pro-Trump signs and a few carried firearms. One of the speakers was Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), who called the alleged plot against Whitmer “unacceptable and un-American.”

“The way we change our community, the way we change our country is by voting, not by threats like that,” he said. “I hope they’re prosecuted, and I’m outraged and I think any Michigander or American should be too.”

The Michigan Pastors Alliance joined Stand Up Michigan in condemning issues such as abortion and to call for the protections for civil liberties. Speaking on behalf of the alliance, Rep. Chatfield’s father, the Reverend Stanley Chatfield, called for Christianity to become “the dominant force in our country again.”

McKenzie Dickens is a Black man from Lansing who came with a “Black Lives Matter” sign and to support Whitmer. 

“Knowing that I’m counterprotesting what they’re believing, I feel a little scared or vulnerable knowing that I’m unprotected and I’m amidst these people who are armed with very dangerous weapons,” he said.

Rep. Chatfield said conversations between lawmakers and the Michigan Capitol Commission about a proposed firearms ban at the Capitol are ongoing.

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