Public sector union discontent with Republican plans to balance state budgets reached the Michigan Capitol in Lansing on Tuesday, according to Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network. Hundreds of protesters showed up to support demonstrators in Madison, WI, Columbus, OH, and Indianapolis.
“Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Union busting has got to go!” That was one of the chants from the protesters who showed up, despite freezing temperatures. They were joined by teachers, who took advantage of a snow day to join the Lansing rally, which was echoed by demonstrations in other Midwestern capitals.
“Support Wisconsin,” some shouted. Said Kelly Kitchen, an eighth grade math teacher, “Our unions are important to the middle class of our country and I cannot stand by and watch attacks occur that are going to destroy the fabric that this country was based on.”
Tea Party protesters, including Gene Clem were also on hand. “It became pretty obvious that from Wisconsin and across the United States that there was pushback from government employee unions,” Clem said. “That made us say, ‘we’ve got to come out and support our legislators who are trying to cut the spending.’”
Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder says he will bargain with unions, and hopes to avoid a heated Wisconsin-style standoff. Read more about the Michigan protests from our partner Michigan Radio.