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Hundreds of demonstrators are gathered in Lansing, Michigan, to protest the state's ongoing coronavirus lockdown, even after Facebook deleted the organizer's event page because of its controversial new policy.
"We have encouraged everyone to respect social distancing," organizer Michael Farage told FOX Business ahead of the rally. "We are not looking to make trouble."
Earlier in April, Facebook said it would remove "events that defy government's guidance on social distancing."
Farage described attendees as people who have been impacted by the pandemic, including himself.
"I have never been hit so hard financially in my life," Farage said, adding that he works at a hotel but has seen his hours cut to just eight per week.
"We are protesting the overreach of government and demanding our rights back as well as new legislation which rescinds the absolute power of the governor," he said.
Michigan is one of the states taking the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic with more than 40,000 cases and more than 3,600 deaths. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has faced backlash for extending the state's stay-at-home order to May 15.
Protesters previously gathered in Lansing for a drive-by rally in mid-April. The Michigan Conservative Coalition organized that rally but is not involved in Thursday's rally, the organization told FOX Business.
Speakers at Thursday's demonstration include former sheriff David Clarke and #WalkAway Movement founder Brandon Straka.
"I’m fully aware of the measures that need to be taken for people to remain safe," Straka told FOX Business. "However, that’s not really the conversation we’re having right now. For some people, it's the sixth or seventh week being out of work."
Some Michigan protesters wore masks and seemed to ignore social distancing guidelines that advise people to stay at least six feet apart from one another.
Thursday's protest comes a day after Michiganders protesting the state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions made their way to the state House gallery on Wednesday before they were forcibly removed, a video posted on social media shows.