Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thousands to march on Mich. Capitol Tuesday in RTW4Less protest

Thousands of our union brothers and sisters are feverishly making plans for Tuesday's rally against right-to-work-for-less in Lansing, Mich. Word is spreading across the country. No one doubts the gravity of this historic fight for workers' rights.

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the right-to-work-for-less bill into law after it was railroaded through the Legislature Friday. Many avenues, legal and political, are being explored to repel this attack on workers. The protest will tell the world we are furious that billionaires can buy our political system. It's our way of educating the public, of saying, 'This law will turn the Midwest into Canada's Mexico."

WILX reports state troopers are being mobilized from all over Michigan for Tuesday's protest, and a hundred troopers will guard the Capitol round-the-clock until then.

Organizers are planning a march from 8 a.m. and several hundred people are prepared to get arrested. Teamsters 18-wheelers are being readied for the trip. Staging areas are being reserved and marshals are being recruited to help protesters.

Union members and retirees from the Teamsters, AFL-CIO, UAW and others have been phone banking all day today, calling everyone they know with the message: "Come to Lansing on Tuesday."

We're starting to get a sense of who's coming.

Many, many brothers and sisters from Michigan will be at the rally. They'll be joined by people who can get off work from other states. AFT Local 795 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is trying to put together a delegation. Teamster Local 200 President Tom Bennett will be there from Milwaukee, as will Brother Shawn Ellis, the IBT training coordinator for the Central Region. Ironworker Randy Bryce plans to bring a busload of solidarity from Wisconsin. Teamsters from Local 407 in Cleveland will make the trip. We expect union members from Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, from as far as New York and Minnesota.

For every person who posted a comment on Facebook that they'd be there, 10 said they wished they could make it but have to work, don't have the money, live too far away or can't drive.

Advice on what to wear and what to expect is being dispensed.

Michael Huerta posted this on the March to Rally at the Michigan State Capitol Building Facebook page:
...bring thick well padded gloves (not for the cold outside but for the protection they offer your hands while clapping the rail), bring a bottle or 2 of water, bring throat lozenges, your phone charger, if you are going to go inside the capital dress in layers (it gets hot when your screaming for 12 straight hours!), bring granola bars or some food with you that wont spoil if we are there for a while, dont be confrontational with the police (they are union brothers and sisters and trust me, they know they are next!), bring a means to document what you see for all those unable to attend (you will be their eyes and ears), thank the people that travelled long distances to be there, talk with the people around you (you will be amazed by the great stories that are there with you!) and finally remember what you see! we are the carriers of the torch and there may come a day when people look back on 12-11-12 as historic.
MatthewVanLiere, president of the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Michigan, asked protesters not to single out public safety officers. He posted on the Protect Working Families Facebook page,
I am a police officer and ... representing EVERY Deputy in this great state. I, nor any one of us, are (anti-union billionaire Dick) DeVos goons. We DO NOT support this. We do not support right to work in anyway. We must all stand together. Public and private unions have rights. Please do not single out public safety because someone's blood money spoke louder than someone else's. Michigan MUST remain a Unionized state! If you want to change things, know who and what you are voting for. We must ALL stand united!
Well said, brothers.