A Michigan restaurant owner is flouting his state’s public health orders to close down his dining room and calling on other business owners to do the same.
Dave Morris of Portage decided to ignore state restrictions on how many guests he is allowed to serve in his business, the D&R Daily Grind.
Right now, that number of guests is zero.
The outlet reported the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a three week ban on indoor dining.
According to Morris, those are three weeks too long.
Morris opened the tables of the D&R Daily Grind last week and has been serving a large number of guests, Kalamazoo’s WWMT-TV reported.
The defiant restauranteur is being fined $1,000 per day for staying open, but it isn’t swaying him.
In fact, when a local reporter attempted to do a live shot outside of the D&R Daily Grind early Wednesday, Morris approached him and turned what was to be a scripted news report into an impromptu interview.
Morris used the opportunity to call out government officials and to appeal to other small business owners.
We’re all Dave Morris. Time is up.
“Wake up! Stand up! This is America. Be free!”
— Tyler Cardon (@TyCardon) December 3, 2020
“My government leaders have abandoned me,” Morris said on live TV.
“We’ve got a government that has taken the stimulus money, they gave it to special campaign donors, they gave it to special interests,” Morris told WWMT-TV.
“They abandoned me, and they have put me in a position where I have to fight back.”
Morris equated the order for him to close his dining room to “tyranny.”
“I feel everybody needs to stand up,” he said. ”Wake up. Stand up. This is America. Be free!”
Morris was facing $6,000 in fines as of Wednesday morning, but he said he won’t be deterred from operating as normal.
“They want me to go down and be quiet. They never want to hear from me again,” he said. “I’m not going to put up with it. It’s time to rise up. Shut it all down or don’t shut any of us down. That’s the only way to get control of a virus.”
The fiery words from Morris are likely welcome to the ears of so many small business owners who are facing financial ruin as corporate big-box retailers, Amazon and other national companies remain magnets for business.
Apparently, viruses don’t spread in the aisles of major grocers and other stores that have been given special treatment this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Politicians and health experts are also still drawing paychecks, no matter how many businesses they bankrupt.
That leaves small business — the lifeblood of many American communities — on the chopping block.
But Morris doesn’t intend to fall into bankruptcy like so many others without taking a stand.
Michigan’s government has been out of control all year.
In the ninth month of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” the mandates are never-ending, and Morris has had enough of them.
MLive reported that when the station interviewed Morris a day before his TV spot, he ran two government officials, including a cop, off of his property.
A health department official and a police officer hand-delivered the man an order for the restaurant to shut down on Monday.
“I’m going to ask you both to leave,” Morris told them both. “Get a warrant.”
“I’ll be suing the health department here shortly,” he added.
“Let’s get ready for the war, boys,” the fiery business owner concluded.
The state is now turning humble business owners into public heroes for defying authoritarian governments.
Who would have thought back in February that sitting down and eating an omelet in Michigan would soon be illegal?
The absurdity is mind-boggling.
But America’s small business owners were pushed past the level of absurdity long ago, and now some of them are starting to fight back.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.