Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Standing With Labor in Michigan

Today, a group of Michigan UU Ministers cut short our monthly UUMA Cluster meeting to join in the demonstration called by organized labor at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. I’ll leave it to professionals to determine how many were in attendance, though many of them were union workers from construction, healthcare, education, the auto industry, firefighters, and many, many others. They not only demonstrated outside, but moved inside and took possession of the capitol rotunda chanting “This Is What Democracy Looks Like!” and “Labor! United! Will Never Be Defeated!”

The UU Ministers who were present were Standing on the Side of Love, alongside and in support of Labor in this state that has recently seen increasing challenges to the institutions of democracy, including the controversial emergency financial administrator plan that will allow the Governor to appoint a bureaucratic administrator for some Michigan towns that can overrule or even disband locally elected governments, abrogate contracts negotiated by those governments, and take fiscal and administrative charge of towns, cities, school boards, and townships.

Many were also there in reaction to the controversial new taxation plan that will give corporations tax breaks paid for by increasing taxes on the poor and the elderly. Many were there in reaction to plans to take away collective bargaining rights from organized labor, and to continue to privatize much of the Michigan public sector.

Here is a collection of photos from the day’s demonstrations, and two short videos that I took while inside the Capitol Dome. The energy was intense, non-violent, and insistent. Though it was packed, there was no pushing and shoving… no destruction of property or disrespect for the public space. Only people exercising their constitutional rights of assembly and speech, in the Michigan People’s House.

I was honored to stand with Michigan Labor today, and will do so again…

Yours in Faith,

Rev. David

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