Saturday, May 23, 2020

All Business Is Essential

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In an act of what he calls “economic disobedience,” Erik Kiilunen is posting “All Business is Essential” billboards around Michigan to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown orders. Billboards will be appearing in Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Howell, and Kiilunen said it’s only the beginning. “All business is essential, and the government, and state governors, do not have the legal authority to pick and choose who has the right to work and feed their families, and who doesn’t,” he said. Kiilunen appeared on The Kyle Olson Show and said, “What I want to do with this campaign is 1. Eliminate fear, 2. Educate the public, and 3. Restart the economy.” He said he doesn’t fear contracting the coronavirus after looking at the data, but something he does fear is “doing this another 2-3 months, taking $5-6 billion out of the state’s economy and saying, ‘okay, now what do we do with 3-4 million unemployed people?'” Kiilunen said when the state shutdown, his manufacturing business “lost $600,000 overnight. I had a 10-man contracting company, I laid everybody off. There was just nothing to do.” He said as the lockdown dragged on, “You cannot just stop and start a business. It just doesn’t work that way.” So he decided to launch the effort posting billboards around the state with the “All Business is Essential” message. “When your government’s busy throwing rocks at each other and doing nothing productive for the country, it’s up to us to stand up and straighten it out,” he said. “Michigan’s on life support and if we don’t fix it now, we’re going to have a problem of colossal proportions coming down the pike,” he told The Kyle Olson Show. Kiilunen started a GoFundMe to help finance his efforts and has raised over $31,000 so far. “If we all just get up and go to work, there’s nothing they can do to us,” he said.

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Hundreds of protesters joined barbers and hairdressers giving free haircuts outside the Michigan Capitol Wednesday in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus “stay-at-home” order. The demonstration, organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and dubbed “Operation Haircut,” attracted about 300 people who opposed the measures Whitmer imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. “I will not stand down,” declared Karl Manke, a 77-year-old barber who was among about a dozen groomers offering free haircuts at the demonstration. Manke gained national recognition after reopening his shop in Owosso earlier this month. He was cited twice and had his license suspended by regulators last week after refusing to close.

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