Owosso barber says he’ll keep cutting hair unless he walks out “in handcuffs or tasered”


Owosso, Mich. (WLNS)– It’s day six of operation at Karl Manke’s Barber Shop and despite receiving multiple citations and a cease and desist order, Make said he doesn’t plan to stop cutting hair.

The barber of 60 years opened up shop Monday, after being closed for 6 weeks due to the Governor’s order.

“I walked into this barbershop alone on Monday morning. This is Saturday. I’ve got over 100,000 friends that are supporting me in this,” Manke said. “I just want to work. That’s all I want.”

Manke said he’s frustrated with government regulations and feels as a business owner, he is being oppressed. Manke has worked 80 hours since opening Monday and has had long lines of customers every day.

Saturday afternoon protesters gathered outside the barbershop. The majority of people were in support of Manke.

Members of the Michigan Militia and Home Guard stand with protesters outside Karl Manke’s Barber Shop on Saturday, May 9th, 2020. Many are in support of the barber.

“People like Karl and every other business owner in town have a right to support themselves,” Chad Gruesbeck said.

The Michigan Militia and the Michigan Home Guard also stood by.

“There were no incidents of any type of violence any confrontations like that and that’s the way we want it, we want everyone to stay safe,” Nathan Silva, Muskegon County Sergeant of the Michigan Home Guard said.

Not everyone, however, agrees with Manke’s decision.

“Our lock-down is not over yet and having small businesses open while the lock-down is still going on is encouraging people to come outside,” Adeline Deweese said.

But does the barber plan to stop?

“There may come a day that I walk out of here in handcuffs or tasered or you know, whatever, but you know, that’s the only way I’m gonna go out of here,” Manke said.

Friday night Manke said a group of several state troopers came into his shop and served him paperwork ordering the shop’s closure. Manke handed those off to his legal team, which he said is being funded by donation from the public.

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