Skip to main content

Rick Snyder and the rest of the MI GOP might not have bargained for the reaction their high-handed, deceitful, and anti-democratic behavior has generated. But all early indicators show that this will be a major gathering on Tuesday, 12/11, at the MI Capitol, in protest against the plans to ramrod through anti-union legislation for the governor's signature.

Only three days after the first challenge was made, last Thursday the 6th, thousands of people across Michigan (and across the country) are mobilizing. I attended one of the preparatory meetings yesterday--a standing-room-only event at the UAW Local 600 building in Dearborn.

I feel comfortable sharing my impressions of the event along with some brief personal reflections. Below the Kos symbol of arms joined in solidarity, I also have a few decent resources to share for relatively current information about emerging developments.

The group was very diverse in terms of age, gender, race, and union affiliation. People wore IDs or clothing indicating their affiliation with the UAW, the Teamsters, Michigan Nurses Association, AFSCME, AFT and MEA, the IBEW, the Union of Steelworkers, and SEIU (along with others, I'm sure). It was a serious-minded crowd whose collective determination to fight back was obvious and steady.

The facilitator for the training was a middle-aged, probably white woman named Lisa who apparently has been doing this kind of organizing for many years. Her demeanor was calm yet forceful; she had a lot to say, and she said it quickly without ornamentation. Lisa had a lot to walk us through, with the help of some UAW and other union activists, and by all indications the union leadership has thought through the implications of this potentially huge demonstration on Tuesday. Karla Swift, the president of the MI AFL-CIO, and Steve Tyree, a union activist whose affiliation I did not catch, each spoke briefly about the historical and practical significance of our taking a strong stance now.

I particularly appreciated Lisa's exhortations to us about taking the high road, since it will undoubtedly be part of our opponents' strategy to provoke us into angry and impulsive responses. She repeated several times the importance of recognizing our opponents as being human, vulnerable to the same pressures we are, and potentially open to change. She also asked us to keep in mind that in many cases the police officers we encounter will have considerable sympathy with our position, even if their role prevents them from behaving that way. (I did see some online conversation to that effect but at the moment I have lost track of it, sorry.)

Lisa made one other memorable comment I'd like to share with you in paraphrase: a definition of four kinds of power. Power over is the one that we are likely to know (and resent) the most, the exercise of control and domination by one individual or group over another. Power with is one of the aspects of power we'll be demonstrating on Tuesday, as well as afterwards, namely the effectiveness of collective action. Power within is the personal resource of strength and clarity we all have, though we may not be encouraged to exercise it; it is our birthright to claim. Power under is the attitude that a domineering government or agency wants us to adopt, since we are much easier to oppress if we accept the premise that we deserve it.

I'll be mulling over these distinctions for a while, appreciating the clarity with which she said them, only imperfectly captured by me here.

I was pleased to see several people I knew at the event, some of whom I had not seen for several years--one for at least twenty. It was deeply encouraging and inspiring to see so much commitment to encouraging the MI legislature and governor to change their minds and do the right thing by the people of Michigan. I left the meeting hopeful of our chances to accomplish our goals, preferably sooner but if necessary later. We are part of a global movement for justice, after all, and as one of the chants asserted, "The people united shall never be divided."

Please join me below for a short list of useful resources for current information.

For general information, see Working Michigan (sponsored by a coalition of major labor, community, faith and progressive groups from around the state). On the site's home page, there is coverage of some of the events around the state that took place today.

See on the same site a page for upcoming events--including some of those planned for tomorrow in preparation for Tuesday. This page is also starting to list important information for Tuesday, such as suggested places to park for a fee, locations for free lots with shuttles, and bus coordination.

[Speaking of Monday events, ShoshannaD asked me to publicize this one:

Rally Monday December 10 at 7:00 pm to protest RTW laws at Bethany Baptist Church 15122 W. Chicago Blvd., Detroit. Free bus ride to protest RTW in Lansing on Tuesday. Please go to Rainbow Push Detroit FB page for details.

For those without a FB page, please contact DaVonne Darby at for more information.

Working Michigan also has two important FB pages: their main one, "Working Michigan" (surprise!), and the other for the public event, "Day of Action at Michigan State Capitol Building."

The "Day of Action" site has had a lot of troll involvement, but there is also some good, practical information provided, like this fine comment by Michael Huerta:

some tips if you will be there on Tuesday: bring thick well padded gloves (not for the cold outside but for the protection they offer your hands while clapping the rail), bring a bottle or 2 of water, bring throat lozenges, your phone charger, if you are going to go inside the capital dress in layers (it gets hot when your screaming for 12 straight hours!), bring granola bars or some food with you that wont spoil if we are there for a while, dont be confrontational with the police (they are union brothers and sisters and trust me, they know they are next!), bring a means to document what you see for all those unable to attend (you will be their eyes and ears), thank the people that travelled long distances to be there, talk with the people around you (you will be amazed by the great stories that are there with you!) and finally remember what you see! we are the carriers of the torch and there may come a day when people look back on 12-11-12 as historic.
The blog sponsored by the Teamsters has posters who are all over this event and related developments. Recent posts include coverage of today's actions and a report on the Koch brothers' and the DeVos family's anti-democratic intervention into this legislative campaign. Well worth bookmarking as the days progress. (I've linked to a post about Saturday's training which has a photo I'm in, though you can't see my face:)

The most succinct local editorial response I've seen to date comes from Susan J. Demas, a columnist at who calls Snyder's actions this week a betrayal. Unfortunately, the responses to her column are on the trollish side, so it might be a good idea for our side to speak up there.

John Nichols of the Nation has a brief report on current developments, and undoubtedly he will keep them coming.

For deep background on so-called "Right to Work" laws and their implications, this Mother Jones article by Nicole Pasulka from March 2012 seems unpleasantly prescient.

Stude Dude has a recent diary to provide info for people who can't attend Tuesday's rally and march but want to help:

I'm trying to compile a one-stop list of links to help out Labor in Michigan over the next few rocky days. I'd like some that would be useful for people like me who would like to help but can't be there in person.
The diary includes links to recent DKos diaries on the issue, one by MI Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the Senate Democratic leader, on how to join her effort to transform the state's political landscape, and two by Eclectablog, one of which promotes the "Wear RED on Monday" campaign in solidarity with MI workers.

For that matter, though Eclectablog usually reposts his material here at DKos, his efforts to stay on top of all the MI legislative developments are worth recognizing. His own blog can be found here.

This is what I have to share for now. Please feel free to add more in the comments. I'll update the list of resources as I can, though the Working Michigan site and the Teamsters blog look like they'll provide really good, close to real-time coverage.

Originally posted to Motor City Kossacks on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan and In Support of Labor and Unions.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I am going on Tuesday morning myself (26+ / 0-)

    and must conserve my energy between now and then. That means I have to spend almost no time with this diary tonight, though I hope others will use it as a platform for communication. I beg your understanding.

    I had said I'd try to plow through the Motor City Kossacks list but I can't start that till tomorrow morning. I wish I had more stamina than I do; some days are better than others.

    Together, we are strong! :)

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:19:52 PM PST

  •  i like her distinctions on power (7+ / 0-)

    good to remember because so many think of us as without power since on outside trying to effect change.

    i respect so much that you are doing this. right now the anti-cancer hormones impact my walking very far or long, but cleared for work outs that i feel some improvement already. :)

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:54:36 PM PST

    •  Thanks, PDNC. Yes, that's a productive analysis (4+ / 0-)

      and a great take-away from the training.

      Maybe I should add this to the diary, but IMHO the best trainers for actions like this are really positive, overall, about our capacity to effect change. I found her very inspiring.

      Is it the hormone treatment that's doing a number on you? Maybe that's what's getting to me, too. Can't do anything for very long at one stretch, or if I do I pay for it later.... :( I'm going to check into a local Livestrong program to see if it'll help.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:58:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, positive is necessary i think (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, mrsgoo, Alma

        otherwise, why try? i am better i think when motivated by positive feelings that i can make a difference.

        yeah, hormones good to nix birth of cancer cells, but wowzer on pain in bones, my feet, legs and sometimes hip. there is both overall pain, affects walking since hurt so much, and also targeted pain. like for while, such pain targeted at left knee. then i did work out when cleared. and wowzer, hurt like hell, but when done, pain i had 24 hours gone. so working out to get rid of rest of pain. :)

        "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

        by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:20:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone from SW Michigan heading to Lansing? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate, mrsgoo, Alma

    I'd love to find people to carpool with.

    'Cause growing up is awfuller than all the awful things there ever were.

    by Waterbug on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:18:35 PM PST

  •  {{peregrine kate}} Wishing all of you the best of (6+ / 0-)

    luck as you fight this. I grew up in Novi. Been in CA since '88 but my MI roots run deep and this whole situation just makes me sick. I frankly think that MI needs a statewide General Strike. Shut down the auto industry, the border with Ontario and Ohio. Shut everything down. Hundreds of thousands of folks protesting in Madison didn't stop snotty Walker. I really think the only way to make Snyder back down is to cause real economic pain.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:44:38 PM PST

    •  Thanks mrsgoo. It is horrible, isn't it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, Alma

      And the MI Republicans are so gleeful about it all.

      The other legislation they're trying to shove through is just as bad. We'll have our hands full the next couple of weeks. And then...? We may have that strike sooner than later.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yes, always gleeful about destruction. That is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        their MO. Not content with putting labor back 100 years they attack womens reproductive rights. They really are making me sick.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 10:19:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  they are like rats pillaging before their ship (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alma, peregrine kate

          sinks in 2014.  Practically spastic in their desire to shove as much oppressive and anti-American legislation through before they (hopefully) lose their seats.

          All eyes should be on Michigan for the next couple of days...also need to spread word on the anti-public education bills coming up for a vote on December 12th.  It seems there is no end to their greed....

          If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

          by livjack on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:15:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Republished to Michigan my michigan (4+ / 0-)

    this is from Michigan Petitioners FB page which is also a good place to find info (link below)

    Tuesday, 12/11/12 - Meet @ Lansing Center @ 9 AM.
    AFSCME will have buses leaving from the following locations:  (not absolutely sure if you have to be a member of AFSCME, look like they will welcome anyone, but please check)

    FLINT: Board @ Kmart (Miller & Ballenger)
    ...Board @ 7 AM, Depart @ 8 AM.
    To confirm your seat, call (810) 787-5381

    DETROIT: Board @ Council 25 (600 W. Lafayette Blvd.)
    Board @ 6:30 PM, Depart 7:30 ÁM
    To confirm your seat, call Betty Smith @ (313) 964-1711, Ext. 2223

    KALAMAZOO: Board @ Meijer (5121 S. Westnedge - Park nr gas station)
    Board @ 6:30 AM, Depart @ 7:30 AM.
    To confirm your seat, call (269) 806-9101


    All buses will return to points of origin after the rally!

    FB page Michigan Petitioners:

    And Kate, please take very good care of yourself/best/sh

    •  Thx, Sh! ;) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alma, ShoshannaD

      I'd add the new FB link but I can't get access. "Content currently unavailable." Do you know if there's any other level of protection for access to the page?
      It definitely helps to get all possible connections in wide circulation, I appreciate your contributions.

      Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

      by peregrine kate on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 09:57:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing I appreciated at the Madison protests (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, peregrine kate

    were people who brought hand-made signs to remind everyone "This is a peaceful protest."  Good reminder for protesters and onlookers alike.

    Thanks for the behind-the-scenes report.  Solidarity from Wisconsin!

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:55:13 AM PST

  •  Pit stop from Progress Michigan (0+ / 0-)

    from Progress Michigan: "We’re opening our office as a pit stop during the rally tomorrow. If you’re in town, join us at 115 W. Allegan, Floor 7 (above the Biggby), to get warm, grab some hot cocoa, recharge your phone, log onto free WI-FI, and make a quick bathroom break."

    I assume they will welcome any of the marchers.  Have a great day tomorrow/sh

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site