LANSING, Mich. — Two weeks ago, Michigan GOP Chairman Ron Weiser was caught on video calling Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, A.G. Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson “witches.” Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people rallied on the front lawn of the Capitol building, protesting his words.
And, they came wearing witches' hats and carrying brooms.
“It’s really just a rally to support the ‘witches from Michigan,’ as they’ve been labeled, to show that we’re not going to run from name-calling. That kind of thing is only going to embolden us to stand together stronger and to get louder,” said organizer and activist Bridget Huff. “These aren’t gaffes. These aren’t off-the-cuff remarks. These are deliberate, insulting things done over and over again in this state.”
Two weeks ago GOP chairman Weiser called Whitmer/Nessel/Benson “witches.”— Lauren Edwards (@LaurenEdwardsTV) April 14, 2021
Today, dozens of people dressed in witches hats and brooms rallied at the Capitol bldg in Lansing to protest his words. // @FOX17
(((Hosted by @Fems_for_Dems & @metroDpan ))) pic.twitter.com/DayV5WEoz3
Weiser also said that the Democratic leaders should be “burned at the stake.” He mentioned that a few Republican congressmen should be assassinated for voting against former President Trump.
He’s since tweeted that he should have "chosen his words more carefully.”
However, Huff called it harassment and verbal abuse.
“You can call us names but we’re just going to own it,” Huff reiterated. “I don’t know who decided witches was a bad thing anyway. They started out as healers, and they stayed that way ever since. So, it’s not something we’re going to run from. We stand with the Witches from Michigan.”
"We’re not witches. But if we are do you really want to cross us." ~@dananessel speaking at the 'Witches Against Patriarchy' rally in Lansing— Lauren Edwards (@LaurenEdwardsTV) April 14, 2021
2 weeks ago GOP Chairman called her/Whitmer/Benson 'witches.' Today, dozens gathered in witches hats to protest his words. // @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/GSD4QVLMSV
Huff was among the dozen or so speakers at the rally. Attorney General Nessel was another.
“Hello. I am Dana Nessel, and I am not a witch,” Nessel said as the crowd laughed. “I’m nothing like you’ve heard. I’m you. And, just like you I’ve had to constantly deny that I am not a witch.”
Since Weiser’s comments were made public, the University of Michigan Board of Regents, which he serves on, has requested that he step down. However, Weiser has stated that he’s not going to do that.
FOX 17 reached out to members of the Michigan GOP. So far, Rep. Tommy Brann has declined to comment. FOX 17 is waiting to hear back from the others.
Days after the comments were made, Weiser issued a more formal apology.
Nevertheless, Huff hopes that Weiser and others get the message from their rally that enough is enough.
“We’re done putting up with this. This is not OK. It's not OK no matter what party you’re in, no matter what your position. We elected people who claim that they somehow have a higher standard of behavior, and we’ve seen the very opposite,” Huff said. “My 7-year-old would not be allowed to behave the way these grown men behave inside our Capitol. It’s got to stop, and we’re going to make sure it does.”