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AP: Gun-carrying protesters have been a common sight at some demonstrations calling for coronavirus-related restrictions to be lifted. But an armed militias involvement in an angry protest in the Michigan statehouse Thursday marked an escalation that drew condemnation and shone a spotlight on the practice of bringing weapons to protest.
The American Patriot Rally started on the statehouse steps, where members of the Michigan Liberty Militia stood guard with weapons and tactical gear, their faces partially covered. They later moved inside the Capitol along with several hundred protesters, who demanded to be let onto the House floor, which is prohibited.
Parts of Australia have started easing their restrictions on social activity. In the state of NSW for example, two people could visit another house for the first time from yesterday. In the Northern Territory, some national parks have opened and there is a date for pub’s reopening. Queensland is allowing people to travel up to 50km for recreation.
Naaman Zhou has spoken to a few people about what they planned to do with the new (relative) freedom.
For Lisa Villani, Friday’s relaxation of restrictions means she can see her friend Deb Mansfield, who is recovering from surgery.
Mansfield, 43, is a visual artist and former university lecturer, who now works in the disability sector. The pair met seven years ago and, until the shutdown, worked together at a pottery workshop.