10,000 union supporters marched on the Michigan Capitol in Lansing Tuesday, protesting two of the state legislature's right-to-work bills (they both passed), which diminish the power of labor in the heavily unionized state.
Things got pretty heated outside the Capitol, especially between pro-union supporters and pro-right-to-work conservatives at the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity tent, which bore the sign "Workplace Freedom." According to the Detroit Free Press, union protesters stormed the tent, shouting "Tear it down. Tear it down." According to some reports, AFP supporters had thrown pennies at them saying, "your work isn't worth these." [Warning: Video contains strong language.]
AFP supporters toss pennies at union protestors saying "Your work isn't worth these." (MSNBC)— Desert Beacon (@DesertBeacon) December 11, 2012
Conservative comedian Steven Crowder also posted video of himself being threatened by a union supporter, later telling a conservative radio show that they had punched him in the face and threatened to kill him.
Crowder later tweeted photos of himself with an allegedly chipped tooth and a small cut to his forehead.
Chipped tooth. RT for truth. twitter.com/scrowder/statu…— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) December 11, 2012
Minor cut on forehead. RT for truth. twitter.com/scrowder/statu…— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) December 11, 2012
Earlier Tuesday, Michigan state Rep. Douglas Geiss (D-Taylor) warned that the Michigan House was about to "undo 100 years of labor relations" with the new right-to-work legislation. "There will be blood," he said.
AFL-CIO rep Eddie Vale distanced the pro-union supporters from the particular group that tore down the tent, but accused people in the AFP tent of taunting them.
“While of course we do not condone the actions taken by a small group of people, the disciples of James O’Keefe were attempting to instigate the crowd all day,” Vale said.
“As soon as the incident happened our marshals worked with the police to move the AFP people through the crowd to safety with no injuries.”