Photo: Elaine Cromie/Getty Images

Protestors stormed the state Capitol on Wednesday in response to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stringent stay-at-home order, NBC News reports.

The latest: The Michigan Conservative Coalition and the Michigan Freedom Fund organized the event, designated "Operation Gridlock." Coordinators invited participants to instigate traffic jams — writing on Facebook: "Do not park and walk — stay in your vehicles!"

  • But some demonstrators abandoned their cars and congregated at the Capitol building in Lansing to wave flags and signs.

"Open up Michigan" and "lock her up" chants targeted Whitmer, who earlier on Wednesday said it was a "sad irony" that the protest could result in a longer stay-at-home order, per NBC.

  • Lt. Brian Oleksyk of the Michigan State Police told NBC News that "for the majority, the protest is peaceful," adding most participants "have been following the social distancing."

The big picture: More than 27,000 cases have been confirmed in the state with at least 1,700 deaths, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Michigan's stay-at-home order is one of the most restrictive in the U.S., including bans on residents traveling to in-state vacation homes, using motorboats, and harsh guidelines for business operations, NBC writes.

  • Violators may be subject to misdemeanor charges.

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