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. Orygun Duck

    No unions in Somalia. GOP paradise.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mark

    why are all the business moving to right-to-work states if unions are so good?

    December 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    You can debate right to work all you want. Two things are indisputable; 1) companies are attracted to RTW states. 2) RTW states have lower wages for workers than non-RTW states – which is why the companies go there.

    In Michigan today, company ABC has to pay it's workers more money to avoid being a union target. RTW legislation certainly weakens unions. If passed, company ABC isn't so inclined to pay the higher wage and the wages of all workers will lower. Look up any research you want – RTW states have lower wages. They might have higher employment but definitely have lower wages.

    Double-edged sword.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Better to have lower wage than $0 and be unemployed. MARKETS determine wages, not unions. Like rent control and minimum wage rules, these cause imbalances- underemployment is not a concern of the unions, collecting dues is.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Union Jack

    UNIONS are a bunch of average brained working men who have been conned into organizing underneath a smaller group of above avg. brained men who are little more than organized extortionists.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lynne G

    Perhaps the unions did get out of control with their demands from companies, but let us not forget why they are there in the first place. They are there to protect the workers and their basic human rights in the work place. Without them the workers will be treated as second class citizens with no voice at all and in fact will be fired for using their voices when they see a problem and will be forced once again to work in very dangerous, dirty and stressful conditions only to be paid peanuts for their hard work and dedication to these companies that are run by greedy, self serving pigs who only care about lining their own wallets. Sickening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Benj

    Welcome to the Police State, coming to a city near you.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      You can protest, as long as its peaceful and does not interfere with the proceedings. These people reportedly were laying down in a main hall way and causing a hazard. they refused to move, they were arrested.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Solidarity Sister

    Madison, Wisconsin is with Michigan!! ALEC right to work legislation is pure corporate greed. 99% of us hope you never give up or never give in. SOLIDARITY.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    firefighters,police, teachers, contruction workers, trasportation workers ,ect.....are all union workers, those are not real jobs???? Huhhhh??? Go ahead nimbile mind republican answer that???

    December 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kim barnes

    I live in lansing michigan. I work 2 jobs & am barely surviving. If the rite to work means more jobs for other ppl im all for it. Who cares if the uaw workers earn less than 20 bucks an hour. Most ppl here just want some type of an income & want to feel like they are earning their keep instead of begging on the corners which has become a big problem.

    December 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hide Behindp

    every man has the right to fight for a wage, yes women too, and the right to belong to a union, as long as they are not directly employed by or their organization of employ depends, even partially, upon governments funds.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brandon

    Proud to be a union carpenter! We build America! I am thankful I have medical benefit and a pension. Also I like that union contractors never give you a paycheck that bounces or they ask you to cash it next week (true story).

    December 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TA

    Are you people annoyed yet? Our elected officials won't work together to do something for the American people.... and the people won't work together either! We have numbskulls betraying the country and hanging upside down flags and hiding behind the First Amendment (search "Boycott Flag Desecraters" for pics and details).... meanwhile the cliff approaches.... and there are more people worried about the Mayan prediction than the fate of our nation....

    One thing for sure: if we don't start working together as a UNITED country, we are doomed....going down a drain.... the time is NOW and it starts with the elected officials..... if they continue to work against each other in the name of political party, make a note of the names.... we hired em- we can fire em.... and our time will be the upcoming elections....

    December 7, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
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