LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Tuesday's action on the historical
Right-to-Work legislation will be a lesson in the democratic process - though all tours of the Capitol were canceled in anticipation of the planned demonstrations.
"As you may know, or have been told by your teacher, that there's a lot of demonstrations going on here at the Capitol," a tour guide told school children at the beginning on a tour Monday. But on Tuesday they'll have to watch it somewhere else.
Michigan State Police officials are ready for up to
10,000 demonstrators to show up in Lansing. Security has already been ramped up at the Capitol. Outside, troopers were stationed at entrances. Inside they mixed with regular Capitol workers.
They'll have their full riot gear ready on Tuesday.
Several streets around the Capitol were closed Monday. Parking meters are bagged and several parking garages near the Capitol will close Tuesday.
"Everything we do is for public safety," said Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk. "We want people to come and exercise their constitutional rights. But we want them to do it safely and orderly."
Troopers learned some lessons from similar events in Wisconsin earlier this year.
"What happened in Wisconsin was people camped in there, they did great damage to the state capitol and they assaulted other individuals. And that's an embarrassment," Adamcyzk said. "We will not let that happen in Michigan."
About 3,000 people showed up in Lansing last Thursday, the day the legislation was introduced.
Eight were arrested after state police said they rushed troopers guarding the senate chambers.
"The majority of the protesters I've spoken to are good working men and women. They're very peaceful. They want their voice to be heard and they have every right to do that."
Union members and other Right to Work opponents are rallying the troops
"I'm hoping to make a difference. That's what it's all about," said Mike Green, a third generation UAW member and President of Lansing Local 526.
Despite the protests, all indications from supporters are that there are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make Right-to-Work a done deal.
But union leaders say they'll keep at it, if not in the halls of the Capitol, then in the voting booth.
We're going to look at people's voting record," Green said. "We're going to look to see who votes for working people."
24 Hour News 8 will provide live coverage beginning on 24 Hour News 8 Daybreak at 4:30 a.m.
Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.