Advance Notice: Briefs

Few show up to protest election results, COVID protocols with Lansing ‘convoy’

By: - February 21, 2022 8:35 am

Lansing Freedom Convoy on Feb. 20, 2022 | Allison R. Donahue

A right-wing protest against COVID-19 mandates and supporting election fraud conspiracies at the Michigan Capitol building off the blockades at the border that shut down the Ambassador Bridge for a week has failed to gain traction for the last week.

Around 10 people showed up to the Capitol building Sunday afternoon for what was billed as the “Lansing Freedom Convoy.” The group has called on “all our good men” to park their cars in downtown Lansing and demand “honest elections,” “a voter-run audit and canvass” and for police to “arrest and charge all criminals in government, media and medicine.”

There currently are few COVID-19 protocols in Michigan, with no statewide mask mandates since June 2021 and every county lifting its requirement.

The group has also been hosting daily “slow rolls” around the Capitol building last week, but these daily events also only had a small number of participants.

Earlier this month, another right-wing rally questioning the results of the 2020 general election had a smaller than anticipated crowd. Organizers for that rally called on thousands of people to flood the building and demand a “forensic audit” of the election, which didn’t happen.

Lansing Freedom Convoy on Feb. 20, 2022 | Allison R. Donahue

Despite the fact that President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by more than 154,000 votes in Michigan, many GOP activists and officials have been pushing election fraud conspiracies for over a year. 

The “freedom convoy” in Lansing is allied with protesters who shut down the Ambassador Bridge and other border crossings earlier this month. That protest, which started with truckers blasting horns in Ottawa, opposed a Canadian vaccine mandate requiring drivers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated or they face a testing and quarantine requirement.

According to a report from the Anderson Economic Group, the protest at the Ambassador Bridge cost the auto industry about $300 million, including $145 million in lost direct wages and $155 million in losses to automakers, including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. 

That protest was backed by 30 GOP state lawmakers and several Republican gubernatorial candidates, including former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and chiropractor Garrett Soldano.

Another convoy is being organized across the U.S. with the intention of disrupting Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1 in Washington, D.C.


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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.