Witch rally at state Capitol protests GOP chair's 'three witches' comments

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
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Correction: State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky spoke at Wednesday's rally. A previous version of this story contained the incorrect spelling of her name.

About three dozen people, many of whom wore witch costumes, gathered on the Capitol lawn Wednesday for a rally to protest comments from Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser in which he dubbed Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson the "three witches."

Michigan Witches Against Patriarchy rally took on a mostly serious tone but also had some tongue-in-cheek moments, including a short address from Nessel who denied being a witch and made a reelection pitch. 

"Next year, in 2022, reelect me and those other witches from Michigan," Nessel said. "Because we're not witches, but if we are, do you really want to cross us?"

About three dozen people, many of whom wore witch costumes, gathered on the Capitol lawn Wednesday for a rally to protest comments from Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser in which he dubbed Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson the "three witches."

Michigan Fems for Dems founder Lori Goldman said the event was held in response to Weiser's March comments at a North Oakland Republican Party meeting where he made his controversial comments.

“Our job now is to soften up those three witches and make sure that when we have good candidates to run against them, that they are ready for the burning at the stake,” Weiser said at one point in the March meeting. "And maybe, the press heard that, too."

Weiser later issued an apology for the "flippant analogy."

But Goldman still expressed disgust with the comments Wednesday, saying she was "sick of it."

"We're not putting up with it anymore," Goldman said. "This is going to be one of our primary focuses going forward: We're going to reelect Gretchen Whitmer and Dana Nessel and Jocelyn Benson and we're going to stop these men and women that want to play the game like they've played it for hundreds of years."

About three dozen people, many of whom wore witch costumes, gathered on the Capitol lawn Wednesday for a rally to protest comments from Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser in which he dubbed Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson the "three witches."

Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, D-Livonia, also spoke at the event, condemning rhetoric that has led to threats against state leaders or armed protests at the state Capitol. 

"I am astounded that we still have to tell people that violent and misogynistic rhetoric is intolerable and we are done accepting empty statements when people are called out for it," she said. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

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