The Hate Behind Anti-Lockdown Protests

Arturo Dominguez
10 min readApr 23, 2020

The true motivations behind the anti-lockdown rallies are just as concerning for minorities as the spread of COVID-19.

Coronavirus Lockdown Protests in Columbus Ohio — Source via Creative Commons

While the press brings attention to anti-lockdown protests happening across the country, many Americans have been focused on not just the idiocy of armed rallies against policies benefiting the public’s health, but the white privilege behind rallygoers screaming about their civil liberties being violated after years of howling when Black folks, Latinos, or other people of color have done the same.

If it feels like there’s more to these protests, that’s because there is.

As you know, the first large anti-government hate-rally took place in Lansing, Michigan. It was dubbed “Operation Gridlock” by the primary organizers of the event, the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a far-right group with various ties to known extremists and extremist groups as well as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. These not-so-good-spellers welcomed extremist groups to attend their rally helping boost their numbers — and expose as many people as possible to COVID-19.

The ensuing chaos of “Operation Gridlock” resulted in members of the Proud Boys — who are always outraged about protests against police brutality by people of color — blocking traffic to the front of Sparrow Hospital, causing issues for emergency services despite the denials of the participating groups. In fact, they are all blaming each other right now which is hilarious.

It’s also worth noting that the Michigan Conservative Coalition, despite claiming moral purity, had recently posted on Facebook a cartoon attacking lockdown orders as a social control scheme. The cartoon was drawn by a well-known neo-nazi who promotes conspiracy theories and bigotry against Jews, women, immigrants, Black folks, and LGBTQ people.

As most hate groups do, the Michigan Conservative Coalition denies the racist element of their neo-nazi daycare program. However, they regularly feature white nationalist memes and echo white nationalist talking points on their Facebook page. The group also recently hosted Michelle Malkin who is closely associated with the far-right’s nationalist agenda.


Arturo Dominguez

Freelance Advocacy Journalist: Politics, Race, Extremism, Disinformation | Editor: The Antagonist Magazine | Bylines: Latino Rebels, Momentum, GEN, more | #WEOC