Lansing Braces For Historic Protest

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As the city prepares for right-to-work protestors, students are preparing for exams.

"This is it. This is my last test coming up," Lansing Community College student Betsy Lehner said. "I want to be there for my final review, so I know what's going on."

Getting there will be tough though with road closures surrounding Lansing Community College and the rest of downtown, not to mention the anticipated parking issues with thousands of people coming to the capitol.

"Plan ahead, maybe leave a little early," LCC Director of Auxiliary Services Eric Glohr said. "I would recommend at least 15 minutes, half an hour would be preferable."

At least 70 buses are expected from out of town, and the Lansing Center will serve as the drop off point for all of them. The Lansing Center said it's treating Tuesday like any big convention it hosts, with more staff on hand for safety purposes.

City officials said they're ready for the visitors.

"We've got an excellent team that will help greet them and direct them to all the businesses downtown that will be grateful to receive them, but also to make sure that if something does happen, that we have the necessary people to help," City of Lansing Director of Public Services Chad Gamble said.

The Emergency Management Team has coordinated with law enforcement for the past week to make sure people traveling to and working in downtown are protected. With that in mind, the City Treasury Department will be closed.

"They're the only office that's located on the first floor of city hall," Gamble said. "So, it might be a little difficult to perform their jobs. So, we're just going to shift their time around accordingly."

The City Hall lobby will be open to the public as a warming area, and the plaza will have a stage set up for protestors to address the crowd throughout the day. The city will monitor everything happening downtown using the public surveillance system, and they could even catch students speeding to class.

"It's kinda of a big deal to me," Lehner said. "I'm paying to take this class. So I have to make sure I make it to the class."

Cooley Law School also has finals this week. The school sent an email to students warning them about the traffic issues.

Road closures begin at 6 a.m., and the first march is planned for 9 a.m. beginning at the Lansing Center.

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