“Release!” “Real America” on the other side of the demonstration at 11:29 on May 19th

On April 15, in the midwestern US state of Michigan, where the outbreak of the new coronavirus spread rapidly and the severe restrictions on going out, a strange sight of 3500 cars lining up for 10 kilometers appeared. It was a violent demonstration by the residents, who urged them to "return to work! Return to everyday life!" During that time, President Trump tweeted that he should stir up a demonstration saying, "Free Michigan!" There is a "place" for the participants who received this "command". As the interview progressed, there was a political confrontation in the background of the demonstration, with a view to the decisive battle six months later. (Washington Bureau reporter Yosuke Yoshitake)

A sudden demonstration that suddenly occurred

This video obtained from the demo participants. The roads are filled with cars, and the loud horns ring.

Participants said they went to the state office where the Governor of the Democratic Party belongs after that. And some groups continued to scream, "End the blockade," at the entrance to the State Capitol, removing their masks, getting out of their cars, as if to go against restrictions on going out and preventing infection. When.

The beginning of the matter was that the Michigan state government announced that it would extend the curfew restrictions that had been set on April 15 to 30 days.

The extension measures were grounded. Located in the Midwest, Michigan has the 10th largest population in the 50 states. Nevertheless, the number of people infected was fourth in the United States, and the number of deaths was third, which was a serious problem. It was a time when there were as many as 1,000 infected people every day.

In spite of such a dangerous situation, when I heard the information that the residents were appealing to return to work, it was hard to believe.

Demonstrator is Trump supporter

We've been covering Michigan since the fall of last year, and we've begun to contact the people we've been interviewing about what's happening there.

"18,000 people participated in the demonstration. 3500 cars formed a line of nearly 10 kilometers. I can not agree with extreme restrictions on going out."

Matt Silly told me this story with excitement. In the suburbs of Detroit, he is the owner of a town factory that manufactures vehicle-related iron products.

Silly is an enthusiastic supporter of President Trump. He was also an executive of the Michigan Conservation Union, a conservative organization leaning towards the Republicans, and told us that they were the ones hosting this large-scale demonstration.

The reason why Silly planned the demonstration was the strong dissatisfaction that the stricter restrictions on going out worsened the state's economy.

"Management has recovered in the three years since President Trump took office."

Mr. Silly said when he visited the factory in March, before the spread of the virus. Machines that work around the clock, 10 employees who work with sweat. It was full of energy.

However, after the state declared a state of emergency in mid-March, economic activity in the state stopped. Factory orders also halved. With no prospect of recovery, the pain and anger were directed at the Democratic Governor.

Just this week, President Trump has begun to say he wants to resume economic activity, despite being criticized for being premature.

And during the demonstration, President Trump tweeted, "Free Michigan!" The demonstration was set up by a supportive conservative organization in line with the President's policy.

In fact, when you look at the photos of the day, you can see some cars with flags bearing President Trump's name. Eventually, the day after this, President Trump officially announced the guidelines for resuming economic activity.

Before and after that, when I looked at demos by residents in seven states, the governors of five states, including Minnesota and Virginia, were Democrats.

Meanwhile, Republican governors such as Texas and Ohio have begun to announce plans to resume economic activity one after another. The “dividing” that spreads across the United States has been highlighted in the response to the new coronavirus.

Female governor warned by the president

Behind the larger demonstrations in Michigan was Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Although it is not familiar in Japan yet, it is the hope of the Democratic Party, whose popularity in the United States has risen sharply.

Especially buying that ability is former Vice President Biden, who ensures the nomination of Democratic candidates in the presidential election.

The media have speculated that Mr Biden may elect Governor Whitmer as vice presidential candidate. Governor Whitmer also appeared as a guest at Mr. Biden's online rally held on the 14th of this month, demonstrating his trust.

Governor Whitmer was born and raised in Michigan, was a member of the state legislature, and became the governor at the age of 48. The tone that speaks politely with a sense of dignity is impressive.

It was the first-elected Ototoshi Governor's election that raised the evaluation of the Democratic Party's executive department. In the state of Michigan, four years ago in the Michigan state, Mr. Clinton lost to President Trump by a narrow margin. Meanwhile, Mr. Whitmer, with a strategy of committing to the infrastructure development, which was a task of the bipartisan, also incorporated the Republican supporters and brought the Democratic Party the governor's post for the first time in eight years.

The opposition party announces the party's policy every day on the day when the president gives a general textbook speech to show the policy. In February, the Democratic Party chose Governor Whitmer as the speaker. In this rebuttal speech, the name of the governor became known to the United States.

After a violent protest against him, Governor Whitmer spoke with dignity at the television show.

Governor Whitmer
"I understand the annoyance people feel. But people who don't wear masks give their children candy with their bare hands. Such behavior is dangerous. Support my policy Everyone must play a role, whether or not. ''

President Trump is also wary of his eye-catching presence. At a press conference about three weeks before the demonstration took place, Governor Whitmer, who criticized the government's infection control measures, was called "the woman in Michigan," and criticized that it was off the mark.

Whitmer immediately responded on Twitter, "My name is Whitmer." The conflict had begun before the demonstration.

Presidential election less than half a year

I wonder if President Trump will be better off in the next election. Before the spread of the new coronavirus, I was often interviewed in the state of Michigan and felt that way. This was because there were few people who expressed strong dissatisfaction with their lives due to the favorable employment environment where the unemployment rate was in the 3% range and high stock prices.

However, the scenery changed completely at an incredible speed.
Even the phrase “deterioration since the Great Depression of 1929” is often used. Unemployment is particularly serious, and the achievements that President Trump has boasted in Michigan are fading.

However, that is a problem that also bounces back to Governor Whitmer, who controls the land. Needless to say, as seen in this demonstration, the ruling and opposition parties in Michigan are facing increasing invasion of defense measures and employment measures.

I want to continue to cover what will happen by the battle that will await half a year later.

A stern eye on the Democratic Party-Going through Michigan, the "real America"

Trump's unfulfilled promise-Going to Michigan, the "real America"

Washington Branch Reporter
Yosuke Yoshitake
Joined in 2004
Currently works after working for Nagoya Bureau and Economic Department