Michigan barbershop defies lockdown order with the help of militia

In another example of brave resistance to authoritarianism, a Michigan barbershop has opened in defiance of the state’s stay-at-home order.

On Friday, when barber Karl Manke, 77, attempted to open his shop in Owosso, Michigan, state police served him with an order from the Attorney General’s office telling him to close.

Yesterday, he opened shop again, this time with the help of the militia group the Michigan Home Guard, as well as dozens of other supporters. “Six troopers came in to enforce the governor’s order or to issue a cease or desist order so we are here to make sure he doesn’t get arrested,” said militia member Daniel Brewer. “We’re willing to stand in front of that door and block the entrance so the police will have no entry there today.”

Manke said that he had complied with the stay-at-home order for weeks but was denied unemployment benefits and had no choice but to open shop to earn a living. “I don’t need the governor to be my mother,” he said. “I’ll be open until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me.”

Reportedly the barbershop was filled with customers, with a line stretching down the block.

A legal victory took place today for Manke and his customers. Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart declined to sign a temporary restraining order against him. Additionally, Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian Begole announced that he would not enforce the stay-at-home order. “With limited resources, staffing and facilities, our priority focus will be on enforcing duly passed laws for the protection of Shiawassee County citizens,” he said. “I have decided, within my authority, that our office cannot and will not divert our primary resources and efforts towards enforcement of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders.”

Manke does face two misdemeanor charges and a $1000 fine.

At a press conference today, he said, “I’ve never seen this type of oppression by a government, ever, not even in the 60’s. The government is not my parent. Never has been…. If people don’t feel safe, they should stay home.”

Amen to that.