'Strike Down the Shutdown,' Hillsdale students protest 'unconstitutional' Michigan lockdown

Hillsdale College students organized a protest against the latest COVID shutdown in the state of Michigan.

The students organized the protest because they are "disappointed" with the new restrictions in Michigan.

Hillsdale College students rallied for freedom after yet another COVID shutdown was ordered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The “Strike Down the Shutdown” rally, organized by students at the College, was held in Lansing on Friday, November 20 in response to this new round of regulations.

A small crowd, consisting of concerned students and citizens, gathered in front of the state capitol building. “Let us learn,” “Separate power,” and “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” were all messages displayed on signs throughout the crowd. During the course of the rally, more demonstrators continued to arrive with messages against new lockdown measures in the state.

Hillsdale students gave speeches from the bed of a pickup truck, which acted as a makeshift stage. 

“About isolation and social distancing- Aristotle says that ‘the man who is isolated who is unable to share the benefits of political association, or has no need to share because he is already self-sufficient, is no part of the polis, and is therefore either a beast or a god’… Now, we’ve already established that Gretchen is not God, and we are not beasts!,” one student said to the protesters attending.

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At one point, The Star Spangled Banner erupted from the crowd. All the while, the rally was being circled by a convoy of vehicles in support of the event, which were honking their horns, bearing signs of protest, and flying American flags. 

The Communications Director of Hillsdale College Republicans, Jack Hammons, spoke to Campus Reform at the rally and said that they are  ”disappointed” by the new lockdown measures.

”We are disappointed by these restrictions. We won’t tolerate unilateral decisions for millions of people,” Hammons said,

The “Strike Down the Shutdown” rally was organized to oppose the Emergency Order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, November 18. This set of regulations prohibits in-person high school and college classes, bans most types of informal gatherings, and closes many businesses to the public. 

“To protect vulnerable individuals, ensure the health care system can provide care for all health issues, and prevent spread in schools during the influenza season, we must reduce the spread of COVID-19. This necessitates use of more forceful mitigation techniques to reduce the spread of the virus,” the order states.

Hillsdale College recently announced that it would “comply with these orders unwillingly.” The school is “exploring appropriate legal strategies and intend to carry on college.” 

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Averi Bott, a senior at Hillsdale College who helped organize the protest told Campus Reform that they felt they had to protest against the new restrictions.

“When they shut down our classes, we felt that it completely violated our right to assemble- our 1st Amendment right to assemble. And we felt like we needed to speak out and do something about it, because the government is completely overreaching into the private lives of our citizens, and we’re honestly done with it,” Bott said. “The state, especially under the 14th Amendment, has no right to abridge the rights of American citizens. So we’re going to say something, and stand up for our generation. We’re not going to lay down and take it. We’re going to be out there, we’re going to learn, and we’re going to educate ourselves.” 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @loganwashburn76