While protesters in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and other states claim to speak for ordinary citizens, many are also supported by street-fighting rightwing groups like the Proud Boys, conservative armed militia groups, religious fundamentalists, anti-vaccination groups and other elements of the radical right.
On Wednesday in Lansing, Michigan, a protest put together by two Republican-connected not-for-profits was explicitly devised to cause gridlock in the city, and for a time blocked the entrance to a local hospital.
It was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, which Michigan state corporate filings show has also operated under the name of Michigan Trump Republicans. It was also heavily promoted by the Michigan Freedom Fund, a group linked to Trump cabinet member Betsy DeVos.
…The pattern of rightwing not-for-profits promoting public protests while still more radical groups use lockdown resistance as a platform for extreme rightwing causes looks set to continue in events advertised in other states over coming days.
…The protest has been heavily promoted by the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF), which counts among its donors “dark money” funds linked to the Koch brothers such as Donors Capital Fund, and Castle Rock, a foundation seeded with part of the fortune of Adolph Coors, the rightwing beer magnate.
…Rodriguez’s website advises, “We feel that wearing face masks and gloves is counterproductive to the movement, and should be avoided”.
…Miller, who is active in the Kitsap county Republican party, was involved in passing a resolution in January in support of representative Matt Shea, who was excluded from the State House’s GOP caucus after a report commissioned by house found that he had participated in domestic terrorism.
The rightwing groups behind wave of protests against Covid-19 restrictions
A decent start to connecting the dots.