December 6th, 2012
02:58 PM ET

Pepper spray, arrests follow protests at Michigan capitol building

The capitol building in Lansing, Michigan, is currently "locked down" and is in" exit only" mode because the capacity of the building has been exceeded, Michigan State Police officials told CNN.

Large protests were taking place inside and outside the capitol building because of a push by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to seek "right to work" status for the state.

Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk told CNN that there are a couple thousand people inside the capital. Another 1,000 to 2,000 people are milling around the area, Adamczyk said.

Multiple protesters were arrested today when they tried to rush the state Senate chambers, Adamczyk said. Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner told CNN that eight people were arrested. They face potential charges of assault and/or disobeying a lawful order from state police.

During the melee outside the Michigan State Capitol today, one trooper used O.C. spray,  more commonly known as mace, against a group of protesters who attempted to rush the chambers, Adamczyk told CNN.


soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Django

    It would be responsible of CNN to expand in this article on what "Right to Work" state status means, who is affected and how they are affected.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DickPerry

      Yes. But i guess this is a "just in" blog where its more important to be the first or very fast out with the "news" and later it might appear in a normal article with links and references explained in detail.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Larry

    The word "capitol" means "a building or complex of buildings in which a state legislature meets". So "capitol building" is redundant. Something the rest of us learned in 5th grade, if not before.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mark

    right to work states allow people to avoid unions. If unions are so great, they can still form, but membership won't be compulsory. Companies are moving to right-to-work states as unions have outlived their usefulness.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • michaelmassey2012

      Companies are moving to "right-to-work" states because it is cheaper to operate in places where workers have few (if any) benefits and are forced to work for poverty wages, and are not allowed to organize themselves to negotiate a better situation.
      "Right-to-work" is a nice way of saying wage slavery.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IvyLeagueMamaLlama

    In other words, the GOP Governor of Michigan is trying to quell the voters' expression of opinion–kind of like GOP Congressmen in Washington who oppose raising taxes on the rich.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcleejr

      your exactly right. michigan is run by lying republican politicians that kiss the butt of the dictator of michigan.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mark

    Not the GOP quelling expression. It's the fascist liberal unions wanting to keep their political grip on failing states. CA, IL, NY all going in the tank while mindless voters drink kool-aid and parrot MSNBC talking points. Detroit is bankrupt courtesy of unions- last one out turn off the light.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      hey, Republicans lost the presidency (again) because the majority of America felt, that we are still better off with the so-called fascist liberals then anything the GOP has to offer...

      December 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • lcleejr

      do a little research before you babble. you apparently have little knowledge about unions.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • michaelmassey2012

      Fascists are conservatives. Pull up your IQ, your ignorance is showing

      December 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charles W. Skinner

    Hooray for Gov. Snyder! A Michigan Governor who sees that the Unions are the reason that the population of Michigan suffers in poverty and why those who are job creators are fleeing the state. Being a former resident who left due to the high taxation of business and personal income while the Unions ran the state and forced "deals" where they were rewarded with compensation FAR in excess of what benefits they provided, I applaud Gov. Snyder for taking action so that those employees who do NOT want to join a union are neither forced to do so, nor required to support said union.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    Right to work means you can be terminated for anything or nothing. That is as long as the termination doesnt list a reason that violates federal labor law, IE.. fired for being black etc....

    December 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    But now, being loaded on the job isn't grounds for termination. Employment is when both parties agree. There should be no jobs for life if your performance stinks. Chicago schools are the worst but they have the strongest unions- coincidence? Are companies here to provide jobs, or to provide products to consumers? If you want socialism, move to Cuba.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. thediplomatic

    They tried this stunt in Ohio and failed.
    I guess they want to bust unions so bad that they don't care if it will cost them their future in the state.
    The current GOP is shortsighted and led about by the Koch Brothers.
    Any passage of such a law wouldn't hold up in court.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Wisconsin looking good!

      December 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mark

    seems like we have OSHA and more attorneys than we need. The time for unions has passed. now they are political parties.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mark

    I am self-employed and happily non-union! I don't shop union stores, don't hire union labor. In CA can get 3 workers for the price of a union worker. Union workers are unemployed here.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Orygun Duck

      But do you accept their money if they want to buy you product? Or do you only sell to non-union people??

      December 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      I don't discriminate. Should i charge them extra since they charge extra?

      December 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Orygun Duck

      .You have the right to refuse a person's business. Most businesses do. But you most likely don't mind accepting their money.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @@ are doing exactly what thousands of other businesses are doing. Individually you are doing what makes sense. Low overhead, low labor costs and a low price for your product or service. But in the aggregate, you cut your own throat. Low wage earners can't buy cars, new products, expensive items which lowers
      the income and sales tax not to mention the property tax that pays for your police, firemen, and other community services. And since these poorly paid workers can't buy stuff, the people who work selling stuff are not needed along with the warehousemen and truck drivers etc...So
      sooner or later no one is gonna buy much of anything including your cheap product.

      December 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Mark please move out of California. We hate you.

      December 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Orygun Duck

    Even as our nations comnpanies are flush with record cash, they claim to be too poor to pay higher wages.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    @thediplomatic This law was upheld in Indiana and a whole bunch of other states? Why is Michigan different?

    December 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Orygun Duck

    Michigan went downhill when they started making inferior products. Ever own a Chevy Vega?? It was designed by the management. Toyota's were better and the rest is history.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      non-union toyota is doing pretty good. great stock to own, better than GM

      December 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mark

    $100k teachers? $225,000 firemen? really? Get a clue. the poor downtrodden worker is ripping off the consumer. What you fail to realize is that the money comes from somewhere! Companies pass on the cost to consumers. Liberals forget this- they think there is some corporate faceless pile of money. Corps represent their shareholders- usually pensioners and small investors. Unions drive up costs for these people.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Orygun Duck

      In the debate about raising taxes for people making over $250,000 there are some who say that - wait a minute, that is now a 'middle class income.' This is the GOP saying that. You can't have it both ways.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Live in CA in a modest tract house. $30,000 in mortgage, $6,000 in property taxes, $2,000 in car insurance, $15,000 in food, $50,000 in taxes (fed & state). then there's sales taxes, sin taxes if you drink, smoke or dine out. kids to private school $12,000 each)l since teachers can't spell and generally suck without retribution since they are the biggest union here, etc etc etc. I'm sure someone in NY has the same opinion. We don't get to stay below the radar growing dope in Corvalis.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
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