Following the protests in Lansing, Michigan throughout the day. [WHY I'm not there]
11:31AM - A bald eagle was just erected on the lawn of the Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan. Via @mitchellrivard on Twitter.
LIVE streaming coverage throughout the protest via Michael Moore.
12:15 PM - President of the American Federation of Teachers speaking:
“THIS is our house”, “WE are Michigan!” “Some elected officials are using the financial crisis to undercut working people.” “Do we provide EMF managers with the opportunity to say, no thanks, NO collective bargaining!” “We fight back. We unite because WE are the People. WE are ONE.”
12:22 PM - Michigan's Senate minority leader Gretchen Whitmer speaking: "We didn't start this fight, but we sure don't plan to lose it!" Sen. Whitmer also announced the introduction today of a constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining rights.
A money quote (a speaker, not sure who)
Just because Snyder takes away our collective bargaining rights,I want him to know, we're still gonna be up his ass!
12:35 PM – Thousands streaming in to the Capitol.
Crowd chanting: THIS is what Democracy looks like!!
WHO'S House? OUR House!
12:48 – Protesters are in the Capitol now, and it’s getting LOUD!
“THIS is what Democracy looks like!!” is the chant of the day, and those lawmakers are probably under their desks, like the Republican wussies they are!
ABC affiliate video of the Capitol building from slightly earlier today.
Drums and chanting inside the capitol "HEAR OUR VOICE!" "TAX the RICH!"
1:45 PM - They are being KICKED OUT of OUR HOUSE! Michael Moore on Twitter:
Police have sealed the doors to the House gallery in Lansing so the public can't observe the sham taking place on the floor.
1:59 PM – The protesters are outside now, singing “America the Beautiful”, which is very touching to me, because it reminds me of how precious democracy really is. How some are trying to take democracy away from us. We CAN’T allow that to happen!
Image below via @Loose_Cukes on Twitter.
Okay, I haven’t been getting any sound on the live feed for a while now, so I’m going to take a break for a while.
Also. The police are estimating the crowd size at 6,000.
4:30 PM – I finally got the sound back. Thinking it was probably my computer. Anyhoo….
Pictures below are from Lansing, Michigan, via Michael Moore’s site.
From the Capitol gallery this morning.
Great speech happening by the president of the Michigan Education Association.
If you truly believe in collective bargaining, DON’T sign the BILL!
Did you hear THE people, Republican legislators? "SHAME!SHAME!SHAME!SHAME!"
More than one speaker today brought up the fact that so many Michigan Democrats (2 million) sat out the vote during the 2010 midterms. For that, we should be kicking ourselves, as well as our friends and neighbors, and while we're at it, the opportunists I like to call the Firebaggers, who actually encouraged Democrats to sit out the vote to punish Obama. Yeah, I bet he's feeling really chastened now!
5:06 PM - Virg Bernero, our should-have-been governor is now speaking. Paraphrasing now,
"Their strategy is to divide and conquer." "The real problem is on Wall St., in Washington, and in the Capitol" "The middle class exists because of the blood sweat and tears of those who fought for the unions!"
5:23 PM - Protesters are back in the Capitol building! Clapping and chanting "This is what Democracy looks like!"
I am overwhelmed with pride in my fellow citizens of Michigan today.
5:30 PM - Republicans aren't liking this. They are trying to close the building. The people have been asked to leave. They're chanting "the people united will never be defeated"
Bless Michael Moore for being there with his cameras!
"Whose house? OUR house! Whose schools? OUR schools"
"Tax the RICH!"
5:55 PM - The people in the Capitol have been told to leave by the Capitol police. They just gave them a 5-minute warning, and if they don't leave, the state police will be forcing them to leave.
Meanwhile the protesters are chanting, "Let them in!"
6:00 PM - Protesters are now talking amongst themselves, making plans to dig in, stay together.
Also, reading the comments on live chat on the live stream. Teabaggers sound like little Nazis (screw Godwin's law). Totally hateful, too.
State Police are talking arrests. Crowd still chanting "Let them in" and "bullshit"
Here it goes. Arrests coming, even though it's a peaceful protest. Crowd chanting "this is what a police state looks like". Some protesters are saying that the police have already injured some protesters. They're intent on staying. For now.
"We respect the police, but we respect democracy too!"
6:17 PM - Okay, there are only about 50 people left, they're currently discussing whether it makes sense to stay and be arrested. Those staying are now sitting down on the floor. There are only four five people staying, and we need to raise bail money for those people!
The rest of the fifty are now leaving, chanting "We'll be back, we'll be stronger (in numbers), we can't take it any longer."
I am SO proud of those young people who stayed!!
The remaining people are having some really good discussions both amongst themselves, and with the police.
Michael Moore's crew is still in the Capitol.
6:41 PM - The remaining five have still not been arrested, and are hoping that the police are going to let them stay. They're sitting on the floor, linking arms. All five are very young, early twenties, and are scared, but determined because they understand what's at stake very well. I think they're all college students.
The camera just focused in on each cop's face, presumably to document who these policemen are.
The Michigan Five, from a screenshot.
Unconfirmed, but it appears that four people from the larger group were arrested earlier.
The police are going to arrest The Michigan Five at 7:40, if they still refuse to leave.
Wow. Now the police have this very loud, high pitched siren going in the Capitol, presumably to drive those kids out so the cops won't look worse when they arrest them. Police state indeed.
7:34 PM - The sirens (apparently fire trucks, though unconfirmed) finally stopped. Speculation is that they were used to drive off the protesters who are still outside.
If Rick Snyder had any damn decency, he could just let them spend the night. Instead, he will have these young people arrested. Bastard.
It's now 7:40, the preset arrest time, and the live stream went off the air.
Okay, the feed is back, and they're in the process of arrest The Michigan Five #MI5
The police won't let media (i think it's just Moore's crew) follow them. Said in response to a question that the media would be arrested if they followed. In total, 11 people were arrested, most charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
Captain Gary Nix is the officer in charge, and he earlier said that he is the person who ordered that the people be removed from the statehouse.
This seems to be over for the night, so I'm signing off for now. Good night, and hopefully, we will see more protests in Michigan in the next couple of days.