'Operation haircut': The defiant barbers driving Michigan's next dramatic protest - Front Page Live

‘Operation haircut’: The defiant barbers driving Michigan’s next dramatic protest

  • 05/19/2020 9:34 pm ET Ellen Chamberlain
'Operation haircut': The defiant barbers driving Michigan's next dramatic protest

JAKE MAY / THE FLINT JOURNAL VIA AP
Texas hairstylist Shelley Luther speaks alongside barber Karl Manke during a press conference on Monday, May 18, 2020, outside of Karl Manke’s Barber and Beauty in Owosso, Mich.

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These are the latest business owners pushing to toss social distancing by the wayside so that they may operate again.

LANSING, MI —  In the deepest corners of Michigan’s 83 counties is a growing restlessness from barbers and salon owners ready to nix social distancing measures so they can get back to work. This week, they’ll bring their frustrations to the front lawn of the Capitol in Michigan’s next protest.

But who are the folks driving this message?

The Gander previously reported about the Owosso barber who refused to close his shop, despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders. Eventually, after warnings and tickets, his business license was revoked.

Attorney General Dana Nessel said she had no intention of arresting the barber, but commenting on his growing attention saying he’s “not a hero.”

“We’re not looking to throw people in jail,” she said of the 77-year-old who reopened his storefront against orders on May 4. “That is, to me, a very, very, very last resort. We want him to discontinue his conduct, which we think is aiding and abetting in the spread of the virus.”

Despite Nessel’s admonishment, the elderly barber continues to garner national attention and support. Shelly Luther, a salon owner who was sent to jail for opening her business during the coronavirus outbreak, traveled all the way from Texas – during the pandemic – just to show her support in Owosso.

“Why does your governor think that it’s OK to open up for marijuana, liquor sales?” Luther, whose boyfriend grew up an hour away in Frankenmuth, said at a press conference. “Can’t you get an abortion? But you cannot get your hair cut. What is wrong?”

This is not the only case of professionals in the beauty industry decrying the executive orders that are keeping their businesses closed to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. A Cadillac, Michigan, hairdresser broke Gov. Whitmer’s lockdown order last week.

Tina Godfrey owns Abbie’s First Cut and decided to open her doors for the first time in almost two months, risking her…Read more on The Gander here. Reprinted with permission.

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