right-wing protest

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: The Mackinac Conference lauds civility, but Kent Co. conflicts tell another tale

BY: - September 23, 2021

“Civility still lives here at the Mackinac conference,” Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandy Baruah declared while kicking off the (usually) annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Tuesday. But apparently, that value is waning more than 200 miles southwest of the storied island in business-friendly Grand Rapids, once the unofficial home of “Michigan Nice.” While […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: An overlooked goal of the rising far-right? Get good people to quit.

BY: - September 19, 2021

When U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) this week announced his retirement after being one of only a handful Republicans to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection, it was greeted with the usual discourse when moderates step aside. Pundits are always atwitter if this mean that Democrats are moving too far […]

As state leaders step back, local health and school officials take the heat over COVID mandates 

BY: - September 18, 2021

Since the state has backed away from issuing statewide mask mandates and COVID-19 orders this summer, local health and school leaders have had to take the reins. But with more health decisions being made at the local level, the threats and pressure from some members of the public followed.  “There are a lot of people that […]

Report: Michigan has highest number of armed protests at state capitals across country

BY: - August 27, 2021

Michigan has made national news for right-wing armed protests at the state Capitol over COVID-19 health orders, such as the April 30, 2020, demonstration that has been called a “dress rehearsal” for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Now a new study shows the state had 29 armed demonstrations in the last 18 […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: Republicans have us trapped in a deadly COVID stupidity loop

BY: - July 22, 2021

Republicans — with the help of four cowardly Democrats — celebrated their ignoble victory Wednesday over common sense and public health, as they ditched a 76-year-old law that makes it easier for governors to respond to catastrophes. It was a pro forma action — the Michigan Supreme Court last year overturned the law when it […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: After more than a year of doing the right thing in the pandemic, it’s OK if you’re angry

BY: - May 31, 2021

The last 15 months have wrought a bone-tiredness that’s hard to fully describe or even comprehend. The pressure you feel as a parent of trying to keep the people you love safe, dealing with the worrying sickness and death of friends, changing nearly every aspect of how we work and live has been like a […]

Nessel tells Congress Michigan is ‘no stranger to the threat of domestic terrorism by violent militia extremists’

BY: - May 26, 2021

Ahead of a congressional subcommittee’s hearing Wednesday on the rise of white supremacist violence and militia extremism, Attorney General Dana Nessel submitted a statement laying out Michigan’s historical ties to militia activity and asking for more federal help on the issue. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil […]

ADL: Michigan antisemitic incidents increase 21% in 2020

BY: - April 27, 2021

The normalization of antisemitism is continuing a “very, very troubling” upward trend in Michigan, despite a year of health restrictions and social distancing that often meant less human interaction.  Since 2015, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Michigan has documented a 240% increase in reported antisemitic incidents in Michigan, starting with 15 in 2015 and increasing […]

As Michigan enters year 2 of COVID-19, scars in the Capitol remain

BY: - March 10, 2021

A year after Michigan officials recorded the first two positive COVID-19 tests on March 10, 2020, two state lawmakers who had the virus — one Democrat, one Republican — have recovered. But their views over how to handle the pandemic that has killed almost 16,000 Michiganders underscore the Capitol’s deep partisan divide. Last March, state […]

How Cafe Rosetta became the nexus of Houghton County’s conflict over the COVID crisis

BY: - March 9, 2021

Sitting on the corner of Fifth Street and Scott Street in Calumet’s business district sits a nondescript building, the entrance of which is pushed back under the roof by about 15 feet, obscuring the view. It stands in the shadows of looming large brick buildings created during the Upper Peninsula village’s heyday as a center […]

‘It’s become toxic’: Houghton County wrestles with its past, Trump and coronavirus

BY: - March 8, 2021

There’s an unwritten, and unquestioned, rule in the Upper Peninsula, including in the far-western area where Houghton County lies between the shores of Lake Superior. Generally, folks stay out of each other’s business and leave each other alone. But if there is a problem, and one can help, it’s an expectation. It’s known as the […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: A GOP firebrand put economics before his values. That’s been the story of the pandemic.

BY: - February 24, 2021

It was somewhat surprising when news broke a couple weeks ago that Southwest Michigan First was tapping former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) as its new CEO. Chatfield had a controversial record during his two years running the lower chamber, including jetting off with GOP leaders for a November White House confab with then-President […]