By Steve Gunn
LANSING, Mich. – Those who enjoyed watching highlights of the union riots at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin in 2011 should keep an eye on the news this week.
There’s likely to be a re-run of the Wisconsin fiasco in Michigan.
Michigan’s union crybabies are planning a massive tantrum on the grounds of the state capitol Tuesday, when the legislature is expected to finalize its approval of a right-to-work law that would allow employees to accept jobs in unionized workplaces without joining the union, according to the Detroit News.
Big Labor and its allies spent the weekend preparing to host a huge crowd. One group spent Saturday training protesters in the fine points of civil disobedience, and labor leaders called on state capitol groundskeepers to leave space for protesters’ tents and portable toilets.
Labor leaders also filed a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court, claiming Republican lawmakers violated the state’s open meetings act by closing the capitol to the public Thursday during debates over the right-to-work proposal. The building was closed as a security measure due to unruly protesters.
A circuit court judge has scheduled a hearing on the lawsuit for Thursday morning. It was not clear how such a hearing might affect the final right-to-work votes, which are scheduled for Tuesday.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking ‘what can I do?’ ” David Hecker, president of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan, told the Detroit News. “Labor continues to meet and discuss and plan.”
Of course that means there could be a great deal of senseless violence. That’s why Michigan state police have maintained stepped up security at the capitol building and at the office of Gov. Rick Snyder. Tours of the capitol for school kids were cancelled for Tuesday.
Despite all the buildup, the outcome of Tuesday’s activities is all but predetermined. Legislative Republicans are certain to give final approval to the law that they tentatively passed last week. Gov. Snyder is certain to sign it in the near future.
The only question that remains is whether the labor protesters conduct themselves like civilized human beings by peacefully making their point and going home, or whether they are going to emulate the jackass antics of the 2011 Madison protesters who crawled through windows to get inside the closed capitol, called lawmakers filthy names and refused to leave until they were arrested.
Our guess is that they’ll choose the more dramatic approach. It will make them look like fools, but it’s the best way to gain the attention of the media and try to capture the sympathy of the public.
So pull up a chair. This ought to be an exciting, if not terribly classy, week in the Great Lakes State.