Michigan families show up to ‘Rally Against Lame Duck’
LANSING, Dec. 12, 2018: On a day where temperatures hovered just
above freezing, scores of people from across the state gathered
in front of the State Capitol to show their discontent for the
legislature’s lame duck session and demand a better future.
The rally comes as representatives have pushed legislation
gutting the minimum wage increase and earned paid sick time law,
attacking labor and reproductive rights, putting our water in
danger, and a score of other policies backed by a corporate
agenda. Republicans are also pushing legislation that is seen as
a power grab since Democrats took control of all executive
offices in last month’s elections.
we face a serious threat, one that needs to be confronted.
Corporate lobbyists are using their wealth and influence to pull
the strings of Republican elected officials to do their bidding
and the communities we care about are getting screwed in the
said Sam Inglot, deputy communications director at
Progress Michigan. “We need to show them
we won’t be silent. We won’t sit back. And most importantly, —
that we’re not going anywhere. We will work every single day to
build the Michigan we want to see.”
Speakers at the rally reminded attendees about the recent history
of harmful legislation Republicans have passed during lame duck.
Right-to-Work and the current emergency manger law that
led to the Flint Water Crisis were among the mentioned.
never forget how in 2012, after the people resoundingly rejected
the Republican emergency manager law, Gov. Rick Snyder and his
cronies went against the will of the people and jammed another
emergency manager law down our throats,” said
Nayyirah Shariff, director of Flint Rising.
“The Flint Water Crisis, which has
inflicted so much pain on the home I love, can be directly
traced to that betrayal of our democracy and our voices as
Michiganders during lame duck. Just like Flint’s pipes, lame
duck is broken. It is a piece of our legislative session that
routinely sees the will of the people drowned out and watered
down to appease the monied interests who bankroll the campaigns
of right-wing elected officials.”
The rally comes a day after the legislature passed a bill that
would create an authority to push Governor Rick Snyder’s
plan to allow Enbridge to build a “utility tunnel”
over the Line 5 Pipeline after widespread criticism and
warnings about the devastating effects a spill from the aging
pipeline will cause for the Great Lakes and the fresh
water we all depend on.
of Michigan were the original stewards of our waters and lands.
We're used to having our rights and our interests disregarded by
those in power — a lot like the voters of Michigan are right now
after the election in November," said
Bryan Newland, chair of the Bay Mills Indian Community,
who was unable to attend the rally, but offered his support and
advice. “But you can take it from us that
there's always another fight and we don't have time to hang our
heads in despair about what's happening. We have a
responsibility to protect our water and our communities and we
won't stop doing that no matter what happens in Lansing.”
Organizers put the rally together to highlight how out of touch
representatives are pushing policies that are in direct
opposition of what working families and vulnerable communities
want. Activists are using the protest today and those that have
taken place throughout Lame Duck as an opportunity to
build a movement.
are changing in Michigan. Our communities are tired of being
dismissed and treated as if we don’t matter,”
said Art Reyes, executive director of We the People -
Michigan. “We showed up in record
numbers in November, we’re showing up at the Capitol from every
corner of this state, and we’re going to keep fighting and
standing together because our families deserve a Michigan we can
be proud of.”
Attendees and speakers vowed to keep the pressure throughout the
rest of the session and beyond.
Capitol, we are seeing attacks on our access to our government.
They are doing the bidding of corporations, but tomorrow is
said Stephanie Moore, chair for the Kalamazoo County
“Our vision is a path toward a good quality of
life for every family in Michigan. Tomorrow is coming!”
Multiple organizations were involved in the rally including:
Progress Michigan, We the People – Michigan, For Our Future,
Planned Parenthood, Good Jobs Now, and others.