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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.

Dale Murrish December 15, 2012 at 03:53 PM
You must have missed the beating of a conservative at this "peaceful protest." This mixed martial arts expert has offered to drop assault and battery charges if the man who sucker punched him would fight him one-on-one in a cage fight with a referee. I’ll bet you a quarter the coward who punched him with a gang of thugs around him will fight in court rather than a fair fight. This MMA expert feared if he had fought back in that situation he would have been beaten to death. This story is being ignored by most of the media. The facts are a man was beaten up in Lansing. He didn’t ask for it any more than a rape victim asks for it by wearing provocative clothing. Or by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, unless peaceful counter-demonstrations are not allowed anymore. This is still a free country, last I checked.
Lianne Mathie December 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Lets see all the shade of grey. Here's what the MSP is saying.The man qouted is a Michigan State Police inspector. Meanwhile, media reports have poked holes in the original, edited video Crowder posted online after he was punched. The New York Times reported “a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that [Crowder] left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit.” The unedited footage shows “the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian,” the Times reported. Adamczyk doesn’t understand why Crowder wouldn’t report the crime to the police and get the perpetrator prosecuted. He stressed that the MSP will not go forward with an investigation unless a crime is reported, and “there are all types of personal reasons” people sometimes don’t report a crime, he said. “If somebody broke into your house, wouldn’t you immediately report it to the police? If someone assaulted you or your family member wouldn’t you report it immediately to the police?” Adamczyk said. “Well, why wouldn’t you, unless there’s a personal agenda there.”
Mike Reno December 15, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Of course, you offer no link to any video. No link to whatever quotes you are trying to use to make a point. And Crowder has talked about trying to help those inside the tent by pushing off the attackers. There were people, equipment, and so on inside of the tent. How sad. This article includes a video of the union folks carving up the $35,000 RENTED tent to take home pieces as a souvenirs. And the story of how the owner of the tent is likely to face increased insurance rates as a result. http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/18070 And we can also tell the story of Clint, the innocent hot dog vendor who lost his whole cart due to the mob attack.
Lianne Mathie December 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Oh course Mike, you would doubt the statement of a Michigan State Police officer. Those were his quotes , not mine. Secondly, did you foot the bill for the rental tent? or was that the Koch Brothers who fund the AFP? I believe it was their group that decided to it was a brilliant idea to do that smack dab in the middle of what was going to be a very heated and long protest. Common sense is not running rampant. While I think it was horrible what happened to the man and his small business it seems he will be O.K based on the kind hearted people that donated to help him out. So, if you want to call Officer Adamczyk a liar, who am I to stop you?
Mike Reno December 15, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Yet you offer no link so that we can see them in context... It's important to understand the source and context. We wouldn't want to be gullible, right? So I searched. Here is what I found: http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2012/12/police_no_charges_filed_by_lan.html Neither Clint nor the owner of the tent has filed a complaint either. How are you supposed to file a complaint against a mob? Best I can tell, you pulled your quotes from the "Talking Points Memo" blog. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/steven-crowder-no-charges.php And the slant of that blog notwithstanding, it is not a matter of calling the office a liar. He is offering an opinion.
Lianne Mathie December 15, 2012 at 09:34 PM
And you are entitled to YOUR opinion, if you think the officer is lying, so be it. As you were not witness to the entire event, you can hardly say with certainty , what exactly went on. The slant is, why was Crowder there? Why did the Koch Brothers decide it was a good idea to plant a pro right to work celebration tent in the middle of what was anticipated to be a very large and unhappy demonstration???? I know you are a huge fan of RTW. The Mackinaw Center is pleased no doubt. But Snyder knew how divisive this would be and so, common sense went right out the window by a few imbeciles found on BOTH sides deciding to stir the pot. By the way, how can the full video of it be posted when it was Crowders buddies that shot it and he edited it? Why not just turn over the FULL unedited video to police, making identification very easy? Because he had a agenda. That is why he is not pressing charges? because then he would have to turn the video over. And we both know that will never happen.
Dale Murrish December 17, 2012 at 12:23 AM
What about the 26,000 students who sat home, while their teachers called in sick to attend these protests? Seems like they were more interested in their union representation than serving the needs of their customers: the students and their parents. Public sector union membership has increased, as teachers and other government workers fight to keep their right to organize. States like Wisconsin have survived bitter fights against conservative governors who try to limit their power. As their policies have taken effect, the voters kept Governor Walker by a larger margin than he won by in the first place. Let’s hope Michigan learns from Wisconsin’s recent troubles and its own past decades of suffering and has a more civil transition to a new era of growth. It looks like Michigan may only have a week of loud protests instead of the months suffered by Wisconsin. http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/public-sector-unions-the-next-budget-challenge
Harry Pelham December 17, 2012 at 02:02 AM
I done rightly saw that on the Sean Hannity TV show over there on Fox News the other night! If yo bothered to do any research yo would know the little Breitbart Operative PUNK Crowder got everything he rightly deserved! Might teach the little Breitbart Operative PUNK Crowder to keep his Grubby little paw's to himself! Because I reckon them there Big Union Boy's don't take too kindly to being shoved face first down in to the dirt! Makes them mighty mean and grumpy makes them sometimes spring right back up and wipe that dirt off right on yo lips as Master Crowder done rightly learned the HARD way that day up there in Lansing, Michigan in front of that there State Capitol! Oh Yeah!!!!
Harry Pelham December 17, 2012 at 02:09 AM
FUNNY! With dozen's of Michigan State Troopers standing milling around about only 150-200-feet away! Why would this Breitbart Operative PUNK Crowder not simply go over and thusly summons some of these Heavily Armed decked out in Full Riot-gear Michigan State Troopers if he were so concerned with the Union Mob gathered around the Koch Brothers Union-busting Party Tent??? Give it up Reno because anyone who knows the NOW updated FULL story of this here Hannity-Breitbart-Crowder-Scam will rightly tell yo yo NO longer have a leg too stand on!!! Good Day!!!
Harry Pelham December 17, 2012 at 02:13 AM
So them Teacher's LOST up in Wisconsin and are now fixing too LOSE in Michigan? So what else is NEW?
Harry Pelham December 17, 2012 at 02:17 AM
At last count they down raised over $33,000 for Mr. Tavner so I reckon he will be very well compensated here! Wish I could have had a Hot! Dog cart up there in front of that there Michigan State Capitol that day, heck I would have even plastered it with all kinds of Anti-Union-Slogan's for sure! Then just simply kicked back waited for all SIX numbers on Hot! Dog Cart Powerball or Mega-Weiners!!!!!
Romney2012 December 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Dale, you Tea Baggers lost all credibility quite awhile ago. Shouldn't you be out fundraising for the next Janice Daniels?
Romney2012 December 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Students are just "customers" in Dale's eyes. And teachers don't get to use their sick days however they like. Protesting is the American way, Dale. You and your people would take that right away 2 if you could. You Tea Baggers are the worst!
Dale Murrish December 19, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Talk about an entitlement mentality. I show up for work unless I'm really sick. Professional educators should care more about their students than they do about their union representation. When I wanted to defend someone else's right to free speech on a work day, I took a vacation day.
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.

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