Right-To-Work Supporters Demand Justice

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

People who support the right-to-work law are speaking out about the violence and injustice they experienced on Tuesday when alleged union protesters tore down their tents and attacked their members.

"Property destruction, assault, intimidation," said Scott Hagerstorm, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, as he described the grievances right-to-work supporters have against their union opponents. "That's why we are calling for a full investigation from the mayor of Lansing, from the county prosecutor, and the Michigan State Police."

"Americans for Prosperity" demonstrators say they were spit at, cursed at, pushed and even punched. A few were under the tent as it came down.

"50 people that are inside this tent, and we are attacked simply because we have a difference of opinion. That's not a dialogue, that's a monologue," said Randall Thompson, a victim of right-to-work protesters.

One person trapped under the tent was Clint Tarver, a well-known downtown hot-dog salesman.

"So by that time it collapsed, I found myself, not crawling on the ground but squatting to get out from under the tent, and they just trampled the tent and everything else under it including my stuff," said Tarver.

While last Thursday eight people were charged for violating the law only three people were a charged for violating the law on Tuesday.

"We were a little more tolerant. When you're trying to control a crowd of over 12,000 people you let a few more things go," said Inspector Gene Adamczyk of the Michigan State Police.

Adamczyk said that since the crowd was 30 people deep, officers were not able to accurately see what happened. Troopers responded to the tent demolition by sending 64 officers in riot gear to help control the crowd.

"Overall these are hard working Michigan men and women who had a point to make and did it in a lawful manner," said Inspector Adamczyk.

Union leaders and democrats say what happened was wrong.

"What happened to the tents and what happened to the equipment at the hot-dog vender is bad. It's not right and it shouldn't have happened," said Representative Richard Hammel the democratic House Minority Leader.

He said that's not what union protesters were there for.

"Speaking in big terms there was a whole lot of people here and not a whole lot of violence. A lot of loud people but not as much violence as you might have expected," said Hammel.

The Michigan Freedom Fund is offering a $1,000 reward to catch any person who allegedly threw punches or damaged Tarver's catering equipment.

Americans for Prosperity said it has pictures and videos of those incidents on its website.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jean Location: ferguson on Dec 19, 2012 at 06:53 AM
    i just read all the comments and all i can do is laugh. i was there i was not carrying any signs , i was not wearing red and i was stopped at the entrance of that tent and told i could not enter...how many hot dogs were sold? i would think none if everyone was treated as i was how did they decide who could and couldnt enter........was a set up to make the union look bad
  • by Anon Location: Location on Dec 18, 2012 at 04:59 AM
    To Steve: I agree with your comments but I think there is something else that is being missed here. It was the Americans for Prosperity who set up the tent and they are backed by the Koch brothers who tried to buy the election by backing the Republicans with their billions. I also think they paid people to create chaos at the demonstration and seriously wonder if they were union people who destroyed the tent or if they were paid to do this by the Americans for Prosperity.
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 18, 2012 at 03:57 AM
    Steve, should the 89% non-union BOYCOTT union business?
  • by Steve Location: Dewitt on Dec 16, 2012 at 02:28 PM
    >>"50 people that are inside this tent, and we are attacked simply because we have a difference of opinion. That's not a dialogue, that's a monologue," said Randall Thompson, a victim of right-to-work protesters."<< REALLY Randal? And exactly what do you call it when the government passes laws by sneaking them though in a lame duck without any discussion, then attach BS appropriations to make sure the people cannot repeal them?> THAT my friend is a monologue! I say its time to BOYCOTT small business and anyone who supports anti labor legislation!
  • by HGP Location: NY on Dec 14, 2012 at 02:21 PM
    No. Not "typical union thug behavior". Rarely do union members react with violence to their rights being taken away. And to dismiss the problem, which is a fraction of a percent of Americans trying to change laws to suit just them by paying for politicians to enact laws that will hurt a majority of Americans, and notably those in the middle and lower income brackets, is the true thugery. Those that were involved should be found and arrested for assault. But their crime is not because they belong to a union. And no one should be applauding Americans losing rights just because you don't like who it is that is losing them.
  • by Mick Location: San Diego Ca. on Dec 14, 2012 at 02:07 PM
    The chickens are finally coming home to roost! Barry Obama put himself front and center and gave his approval for the unions thuggery tactics. All of you so called so called union Democrats and ignoramuses whom voted for Barry Obama are getting what you so justly deserve : ) Mitt Romney was telling the honest to god truth about the 47 percent. But unfortunately you folks just couldn't handle the truth.. So now it's all laid bare, the emperor has no clothes. Standby for the next body blow, Michigan is circling the toilet bowl drain unfortunately Rick is a little too late! Jenny did a such masterful job of turning Michigan into a Euro style welfare state. You see for years the unions have bled Michigan's industrial base dry and now the unions are turning to Nazi Brown tactics, Now threatening persons lives, as well as physically assaulting them in broad daylight no less. The local mayor is a certified nut-job. Ole Verg has helped Lansing become a slimy cesspool of union hacks. But folks were more worried about all of the free stuff that Barry Obama has promised. Mitt Romney is and will always be a better man than Barry Obama will ever be... So I hope all you whom voted him are happy with your messiah king... Please enjoy the unemployment checks while they last : ) Hey what can you do... you can always find a way to cook and eat the free birth control stuff. After all Sandra Fluke worked very hard! Cheers....
  • by Cliff Location: Michigan on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    So times you have people that like to go to these kind of events to start trouble because they know that it is a hot topic. They run their mouths just hoping that someone will hit them so they can say look what the big bad union memebers did to me. and maybe get a pics taking to prove it. Its like this going to the zoo and poking the bear if you don't want to get bit stay home.
  • by anonymous Location: lansing on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM
    wahhhhh wahhhh wahhhhh
  • by Name Location: Location on Dec 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM
    Rick, you're a poor soul! You left out the Union lobbyist that control the Dems, along with the elite money from the evil George Soros. You know the founder of Media Matters that does hit pieces on any news outlets that report on the dirty works of the Left Wingnuts who brutalize anyone that gets in their way. Your chickens have come home to roost!?!?!?
  • by David Location: Texas on Dec 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM
    Rick, when I read the story it stated $3,000 for the tent not 33,000. Where do you get the truth from, your union?
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