12,400 Protest in Lansing

Right to Work Bill Protests center on Capitol Building as final bills are passed and signed into law.

They arrived before sun up and within minutes of the Capitol Building opening there was no room left inside. Still they arrived by car, bus and truck until 12400+ jammed the front of the Capitol Building to express their dismay about the Right to Work law being voted on in the House and Senate.

In what opponents called a political objective possibly violating the open meetings laws and requirements for public hearings bills were passed and sent to the governor making Michigan, the home of the modern labor movement a Right to Work State.

From across the state virtually every union and their supporters were represented from Autoworkers to Teamsters and teachers to Boilermakers. Hearing speeches from political leaders like House Democratic Leader Tim Griemel, labor leaders from the AFL-CIO, UAW and Teamster and religious leaders, the crowd heard and reacted to calls for the legislation not to be signed into law. Passage was a foregone conclusion, giving the Republican majority in both Houses. 

Ultimately, in spite of pleas from the Michgian Democratic Congressional delegation led by Sen. Carl Levin, Gov. Snyder signed the bills into law.

The protesters at the Capitol Building itself were peaceful albeit loud and passionate, only one incident at the entrance to the Capitol (under the front steps of the building) as a mounted officer started to back her horse into the crowd to force them back. Union appointed and trained marshals used to control the crowd and defuse tense situations stepped between the crowd and mounted officers moving the crowd back and the mounted deputies removed themselves from the front of the building, leaving it to regular and SWAT team troopers armed with assault weapons and tear gas.

Later in the day protesters surrounded the Governor Romney Building Office and State Police used pepper spray to break up the crowd. Officials claimed a protester grabbed a Trooper, provoking the response.

The main protest at the Capitol Building was peaceful and had something of a carnival feeling in spite of the serious nature of the gathering. People were helpful and friendly and several unions were passing out bottled water and hot dogs and chips to the crowd.

While virtually all the attention during the day was on the two RTW bills, an anti-abortion and contraceptive bill was also passed and Planned Parenthood  was present to remind its constituents and the public of that bill, which was duly noted by several speakers as an attack on Women’s Rights.

The RTW laws will be effective ninety days after the end of the current legislative session. Further protests and court challenges are expected during that period.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

laplateau December 19, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Yes---please, everyone look at the video. The same video I saw on Fox News. It plainly shows the union thug being pulled off and away by Crowder from tearing the tent down. The same tent that housed women and children. Last night I spoke with a woman who was in that tent. She was terrified by these wide eyed union thugs acting with mob mentality, pulling down ropes and large wooden tent supports on the heads of the people inside. When somone or some group is being attacked and their personal safety and personal property being destroyed, I think MR. Crowder should be applauded for his efforts at [putting himslef in danger by forcefully pulling that guy off. Yeah, he feel on his face....too bad he didn't break it
laplateau December 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Hey Harry...why don't you try to NOT write as ignorantly as you no doubt are. What's with this down south uneducated tough guy vernacular? Oh---sorry--I forgot---you're one of those union thugs...same mentality, same words, same actions!! Please---go back under your rock.
Lianne Mathie December 20, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Same thing can be said for you. Back under the rock. Nice debating skills. I will leave it to Harry to defend himself, on the other hand, lets get some of the facts straight, shall we? I will preface this by saying I really don't have a opinion on RTW, however I do believe that it should have been put before the voters of Michigan. I feel my rights were trampled on. Secondly, a good reporter, reports the news, not becomes part of the story. As you will see from my earlier post, if you had bothered to read the entire thread. Crowder has not pressed charges because he would have to turn over the video that they shot and edited. So, at this point, the MSP say nothing can be done.Hardly worth applauding Crowders heroism, that's purely fictional. I'll save applause for a REAL hero. If the Koch Brothers/AFP want to set up a rental tent to celebrate the passage of RTW, they should have had everyone in the tent sign releases because they knew there was going to be a large demonstration/turn out. So look to those deep pockets for financial relief. I also have no doubt that insurance was taken out with the tent rental, which is the usual practice. Did they really think the Unions were going to say, "Hey, this sounds like a great idea!" Let's be real. It was dumb putting that tent in the middle of that mess. It would be like picnicking on the freeway, your going to get run over, so why do it?
laplateau December 20, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Wow...I might get under a rock Lianne, but only if you promise to get the rocks out of your head! Lianne...so how do you know that Crowder edited any tape. The one I saw on Fox News does show him pushing that Neanderthal down and away from the tent he was tearing down. Have you seen another version of the tape, and if you have, how do you "know" it wasn't edited. And who cares if the Koch Bros. or anyone else paid for the tent or if there was insurance? Does either of those questions in any way justify the union mobs' actions? And, why do you think that RTW supporters had any less right to be there to voice there opinions even if the overwhelming numbers were of the opposite opinion? Is that how you gauge people's rights to free speech....by the numbers present in a particular demonstration? You words here..." It was dumb putting that tent in the middle of that mess. It would be like picnicking on the freeway, your going to get run over, so why do it?" Yeah, maybe it was naive of the RTW supporters to think they could be afforded the same rights and protection in the midst of union members with their mob mentality..thinking that people could possibly be human and afford them the merest of common courtesy and respect the rights of others regardless of their thoughts. I sure didn't see or hear of any reports of the RTW people attacking anyone. That, my dear, is what you call having class and respecting others. You could learn a lot from them...if you REALLY Try!
Lianne Mathie December 20, 2012 at 02:06 AM
The rocks rolling around your head are from myopia. One and I repeat ONE news source you cite is your holy grail of truth? Bless yor little critical thinking skills. Look, Sherlock, go read what the Michigan State Police reported about the incident and get back to us. If your ONLY news source is Fox, then you are just repeating the same mantra of the weak minded.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »