'Overall Peaceful Crowd' Destroys Private Property, Tears Down Tent
‘Overall Peaceful Crowd’ Destroys Private Property, Tears Down Tent
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State Police, following December 11 Right-to-Work demonstrations, released the following statement:
“The Michigan State Police (MSP) report that the large crowds at the Capitol today were mostly peaceful.”
Roughly 10,000 ‘mostly peaceful’ demonstrators gathered on the East Lawn of the Capitol last Tuesday to protest the passage of Right-to-Work legislation. The anti-RTW group was largely comprised of current and former union members from across the country, including members of the UAW, MEA, and SEIU.
Placid protesters, many who previously participated in civil disobedience training, arrived en masse Monday night and Tuesday morning vowing to “end the war on workers.”
Aiming to influence legislators prior to passage of right-to-work legislation, SB116 and HB4003, protesters chanted, beat on drums, and carried hand-made signs bearing creative inscriptions.
Union protesters surrounded the Americans for Prosperity-Michigan tent, a structure erected as a gathering space and safe haven for pro-RTW activists. ‘Nonviolent’ union members clad in jackets bearing their union credentials and ski masks crowded close to the tent, shouting threats and profanities.
Threats escalated, eventually resulting in the unlawful destruction of the tent, as well as property of vendors and activists therein. Union appointed Marshalls were unable to control the zealous anti-RTW crowd. Several activists were trapped underneath the fallen tent.
The MSP news release excludes all events which took place on the Capitol Lawn last Tuesday.
At approximately 11:00AM, following the destruction of a coalition tent on the Northeast Lawn, the crowd pushed toward the AFP-Michigan tent, located on the Southeast Lawn. The intimidating crowd chanted “One more tent.” See video here.
At approximately 11:20AM, anti-RTW protesters began to loosen the tent straps, damaging the structural integrity of the tent.
At approximately 11:40AM, an anti-RTW observer warned activists to evacuate the tent. “Get out of there now,” he said, “They’re rushing this thing and it’s gonna go down.” See video here.
At approximately 11:45AM, unfriendly union protesters entered the tent and flipped coffee and food tables. Activists were forced to flee the tent. AFP-Michigan staff scrambled to gather laptops other items. Protesters cheered as the tent fell. Unfriendly union members pursued AFP-Michigan State Director Scott Hagerstrom as he departed the chaotic scene. They continued to call out abusive threats.
Read the full text of the MSP news release here.