ONTD Political

LANSING — A large police presence remained at the Capitol in Lansing today despite a lack of protesters on the grounds.

About 50 Michigan State Police vehicles were parked near the Capitol a day after lawmakers took up contentious right-to-work legislation, sparking fierce protests and clashes with police that led to the arrest of eight people. Consideration of right-to-work legislation will resume Tuesday.

Dozens of Michigan State Police were inside the building, near entrances and on the sidewalks.

State Police officials declined to release the number of officers present, but said they had an increased presence to protect protesters, visitors and workers.

Releasing the number doesn’t give police a tactical advantage, Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said today.

“With right-to-work being such a controversial issue and a very personal issue to so many people, we’ve seen an increase in protesting,” he said.

Right-to-work legislation makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.

The eight people arrested Thursday are accused of resisting and obstructing a police officer, Adamczyk said. It happened when they tried to rush past troopers guarding the Senate floor. The troopers were forced to use mace to repel their advance, he said.

They appeared briefly in district court in Lansing Friday but they were not charged and their names were not released. Freed Thursday on $50 interim bonds, they were told to return to court Dec. 19.

“The majority of the protesters had a point to make, but were very polite, very civil,” Adamczyk said.

On a rainy morning, less than a half dozen protesters milled around outside the Capitol today.

Cliff Oaks of Montrose and Chad Clark of St. Louis, both members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876, said they were at the Capitol to show their opposition to the three-bill package of right-to-work legislation, parts of which were approved in the state House and Senate late Thursday.

Oaks said one of the important purposes of unions and the dues that are paid is to pay for training that benefits all members and improves safety for electricians and the public.

“So, for someone to come to us and want a job and not be a part of the union, and use our money for his training, I feel is just flat wrong,” Oaks said.

Clark said he expects a huge union turnout at the Capitol on Tuesday, when the Legislature is expected to resume consideration of right-to-work legislation.

“I want to see them shut the state down,” he said.

No demonstrations are booked today or over the weekend at the Capitol, but bookings have been made for Monday and Tuesday, said Steve Benkovsky, director of Capitol facilities.


I'm going to try to be there for the protests Tuesday. any other Michiganders going?

edit: if you smell something burning in Michigan, it's just Snyder's pants on fire:

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