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It was a big day in Michigan today. I spent the day at the Michigan Summit, hosted by Progress Michigan. I liveblogged it HERE. I was given the chance to interview SEIU president Mary Kay Henry who gave me hope that SEIU, along with their labor partners from other unions, will be taking an active role in Benton Harbor.

But the big event took place at State Capitol Building. It started at noon with the Rick Snyder recall kickoff. At 4:00, the Michigan Education Association, Michigan's teachers union, had a two-hour rally to protest Rick Snyder's draconian cuts to education, used to pay for an 86% tax cut for corporations.

There had to have been at least 5,000 people there. Maybe more. I was able to catch a bit of it. Here are some photos. Enjoy.

Click the photo for a bigger version.


Approaching the Capitol Bldg. about 4:45 pm


Getting closer (sorry for the finger)


Day-um!


From the Capitol Steps, looking straight down Michigan Avenue


Stage right


Stage left


From behind the crowd

Needless to say, a LOT of Rick Snyder recall petitions got signed today.

A. LOT.

Here is We ARE the People's press release from the event:

THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS, PARENTS, STUDENTS RALLY AT STATE CAPITOL TO PROTEST EDUCATION CUTS
Citizens ready to take fight back to lawmakers’ home districts

LANSING - Over 6,000 teachers, parents and students from across Michigan gathered at the State Capitol today for a rally to protest major cuts to education in Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2012 budget. With the Legislature just days away from approving more than $500 million in cuts to local schools and universities, the group vowed to take the fight back to lawmakers’ home districts to let residents know how the cuts would hurt working and middle class families.

“The fight over the budget may soon be over, but the fight to protect and strengthen the middle class is just beginning,” said Laura Kropp, a Utica teacher, Mt. Clemens school board member and small business owner who spoke at the rally. “If the politicians won’t listen to us here in Lansing, then we’re prepared to take this fight back to their home districts to let residents know how these cuts to education would hurt working families. We are the people of Michigan, and it’s time for our leaders to stop the power struggles, protect our schools, and start working together to create jobs.”

This was the third major rally at the State Capitol in the past three months. Speakers included UAW President Bob King, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, as well as teachers, parents and students from across the state.

Over the past three weeks, local workers and residents have gone door-to-door in the districts of State Representatives Paul Scott (R-Grand Blanc), Pat Somerville (R-Huron Twp) and Rick Olson (R-York Twp) to discuss their recent votes to cut education and reduce unemployment benefits for Michigan workers. More community activities are planned in legislators’ districts throughout the spring, following the final passage of the 2012 budget.

Flint Journal: Area teachers knocking on doors to share concerns about Rep. Paul Scott
“Grand Blanc teachers and residents unhappy with Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, have been going door to door to share their concerns.”

Southgate News-Herald: Around the capitol “Residents and workers went door to door in Somerville’s district to tell their neighbors about how his vote would hurt working and middle class families.”

# # #

We Are the People is a diverse coalition of students, seniors, workers, families and organizations fighting to protect Michigan's middle class.

UPDATE: Yesterday, over 6,000 people, mostly teachers and their supporters, rallied on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol building to protest Governor Rick Snyder's cuts to education, used to fund an 86% tax cut for corporations. Amazingly, the major media outlets in Michigan seem to think it is not a news item.

The Lansing State Journal's webpage has an article three page scrolls down. Their headline is the East Lansing art festival.

The Detroit News does not have an article about it on their website's front page. In fact, they do not appear to have an article about the rally at all. Their big news: Bob Seger, aging has-been rocker, had his last show at the Palace in Detroit (which isn't in Detroit.)

The Detroit Free Press does not have a front page article on their website either. The do have an article about the Rapture that didn't occur and how "many in Michigan believe world will end one day". I couldn't find reference to the rally anywhere on their website.

Tea partyers show up in a cluster of 15 people and a dozen reporters are there to cover it. Union members, in a stunning display of unity, show up by the thousands and the two largest newspapers in Michigan don't cover it.

We are being miserably failed by our media and our society is the worse for it. "Liberal media", my ass.

UPDATE the Second: Just had a look through the print edition that the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press put out jointly on Sundays.

Not. One. Word.

6,000+ people rally at the Capitol building in Lansing and not one word.

They did, however, have a picture of some tea partyers from Wisconsin on the Opinion  page.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.com.

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Sat May 21, 2011 at 06:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by oo, Badger State Progressive, Michigan, My Michigan, and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

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