Thursday, January 17, 2013

Environmentalists, Indians, Labor Groups, Protest State of the State Under Snyder

Environmentalists, Indians, labor groups protest state of the state under Snyder

6:59 PM, January 16, 2013 |
Detroit Free Press

LANSING — American Indians, environmentalists and labor union activists stood together on the Capitol steps tonight to protest the state of the state under Gov. Rick Snyder.

By 5:30 p.m., hundreds of protesters had gathered outside the Capitol in anticipation of Snyder’s State of the State address.

"It’s a very diverse group," said Pat Hartsoe, of Grand Rapids, an anti-fracking activist. "It’s democracy in action."

Hartsoe said environmentalists from all over Michigan came to protest the policies of Snyder and the Republican-controlled Legislature, which she says will bring economic gain at the expense of the environment.

Union members resumed their protest over the right-to-work bills passed by the lame-duck Legislature and signed by Snyder last month.

Joel Archibald was among about 30 members of Laborers International Union Local 1075 in the Flint and Port Huron areas who traveled to Lansing to protest the legislation and to let Snyder know “we’re still here.”

Jeremy Rice, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, joined the protest on behalf of Idle No More, a group devoted to asserting Indians' rights and peaceful resistance to government policies.

"I was wondering how (the protest) was going to go, and it’s fine," Rice said.

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