Police arrest, spray protesters at state Capitol

(UPDATE: Thursday, 6:35 p.m.) Hundreds of chanting and cheering protesters have streamed back into the Michigan Capitol after receiving a court order saying that the building must reopen. The pro-union crowd walked in as lawmakers were debating right-to-work legislation limiting union powers. The Republican-led House subsequently passed the bill with no Democratic support
AP Wire
Dec 7, 2012
They rejoined other protesters who were in the building when police temporarily closed it hours earlier because of safety concerns.

State police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said a judge ordered the Capitol reopened and authorities did so despite safety concerns.

Many of the protesters chanted "Whose house? Our house!" and stomped as they ringed the Rotunda.

Police earlier arrested eight people who tried to run into the Senate while it was in session.

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Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders said today they would press for quick approval of right-to-work legislation, an announcement that set off a confrontation inside the Capitol when police used chemical spray to subdue protesters trying to rush the Senate floor.

State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said eight people were arrested for resisting and obstructing when they tried to push past two troopers guarding the Senate door. He said the troopers used chemical spray after the people refused to obey orders to stop.

The Capitol was temporarily closed because of concerns for the safety of people and the building. Adamczyk estimated about 2,500 visitors were at the Capitol.

So-called right-to-work measures generally prohibit requiring unions from collecting fees from nonunion employees, which opponents say drains unions of money and weakens their ability to bargain for good wages and benefits. Supporters insist it would boost the economy and job creation.

Should it become law in Michigan, it would give the right-to-work movement its strongest foothold yet in the Rust Belt region, where organized labor already has suffered several body blows.

After repeatedly insisting during his first two years in office that right-to-work was not on his agenda, Snyder reversed course Thursday, a month after voters defeated a ballot initiative that would have barred such measures under the state constitution.

"This is all about taking care of the hard-working workers in Michigan, being pro-worker and giving them freedom to make choices," Snyder said during a news conference with House Speaker Jase Bolger and Senate Minority Leader Randy Richardville, both fellow Republicans.

"The goal isn't to divide Michigan, it is to bring Michigan together," Snyder said.

But the decision to push forward in the waning days of the Legislature's lame-duck session infuriated outnumbered Democrats, who resorted to parliamentary maneuvers to slow action but were powerless to block the bills that were expected to be introduced Thursday.

Hundreds of chanting, whistle-blowing union activists packed the state Capitol rotunda and hallways, chanting slogans such as "Union buster" and "Right-to-work has got to go."

 

Comments

sirhansalot

I bet the cop’s used Dick Devoss’s urine to spray the protestors
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Vladtheimp

Actually, they used liquid garlic.

Zegota

We live in a totally different ethical and moral country today then we did when the "Worlds Greatest Generation" was the light that shined the way with hard work, determination and motivation. For this is the true foundation that built this nation and gave us freedom, these are American Values.
But it seems that these values and beliefs are gone, or at least they are not as strongly respected or even promoted today. The point is, you would think that Unions (respectfully) would be highly supportive of individual rights. However it is obvious that Unions are more concern about the bottom line, there income, please think about it for a minute with an open mind. For if people were to have the individual right to decide rather they pay into a Union as non-members, Unions finances could be threatened at least they believe so? Including the possible lost of a small percentage of there Union membership, all because of Freedom of choice!
As it stands today, if any individual decides to work at a Union shop, they do have a choice, the choice is usually either paying dues into a Union or paying the same dues into a non-profit, or into some other financial arraignments that the Union and Company agreed too. If an individual must pay the same amount into a non-profit or another organization then why not just join the Union.
I sincerely and respectfully believe that a person should have the Right to decide rather they pay into a Union, an individual rights should not stop at the factory door! Let true Freedom Ring, and the truth be told is Freedom that scary. God Bless the Constitution.

TheTuxedoGuy

People Keep saying there were 2000-3000 protesters there. Cited in this article as 2500 approx. State police estimated it at 600, further confirmed by State Rep Dave Agema Yesterday. To keep using 2500 as a reference point to mislead the public on the actual support of the issue is shameful. I know you used the careful wording of 2500 "visitors" but we 'll all know what you are attemptign to "get at". You (the trib) left the ability to backpedal as usual.. but Why not just print the fact, unbiased FACTS. not misleading ones. or only painting HALF the picture.

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