Capitol Protests Draw Thousands, Jesse Jackson - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Capitol Protests Draw Thousands, Jesse Jackson

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – More than 2,500 protesters swarmed the inside of the Capitol today in opposition of the right-to-work legislation that Governor Snyder signed late Tuesday evening.

The protesters came from all over the state- chanting, pounding and yelling their way through the rotunda to express their outrage over new laws they say will likely throw crippling lows at Michigan unions.

"This [law] says that you can't even negotiate that people who benefit from a contract will have to pay their fair share," says Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the National Education Association. "This is an attack on working families, on people who work for a paycheck."

Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. made a surprise visit to protesters inside the Capitol, urging them to continue fighting for workers' rights, and even consider a mass strike. "[Making a difference] may even involve a major one-day strike so that the workers' power be felt," says Jackson. "If Mandela can spend 27 years in jail, if Dr. King can spend night after night in jail for a sacrifice, maybe a one-day strike by workers may be felt, and will send a message that workers will not be going backwards."

Jackson also called the right-to-work a bold state's rights act that will increase the gap between the wealthy and the working class. 

Emerald Morrow is a reporter with WLNS-TV. Reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter or email at emorrow@wlns.com.

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