Detroit’s Jewish community ‘condemns’ behavior, signage of ‘Operation Gridlock’ protestors

Nazi, swastika imagery used just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day

Dawn Perreca protests on the front steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Flag-waving, honking protesters drove past the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday to show their displeasure with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – The Jewish Community Relations Council of Detroit (AJC) has publicly condemned the behavior and signage of protestors that participated in “Operation Gridlock” on Wednesday.

Thousands of Michigan residents swarmed the Lansing capitol to protest Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order -- which they called a “government overreach on steroids” -- amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MORE: Thousands protest Michigan governor’s social distance order

Photos and videos from the protest show individuals holding posters with swastikas, comparing Whitmer to Adolf Hitler.

AJC released a statement Thursday condemning the usage of these symbols at the protest.

“Regardless of one’s political views, the use of such imagery and symbolism is inexcusable,” AJC said. “The Nazi imagery is particularly galling as it comes only days before Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), which begins on Monday night.”

AJC is requesting the protest organizers to condemn the behavior, as well.

“The JCRC/AJC condemns these actions and asks the organizers of the protest, the Michigan Conservative Coalition, to immediately condemn the use of all hate speech and, specifically, the imagery used at yesterday’s rally,” AJC said.


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Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.