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400 protest anti-worker policies of Governor Snyder in Grand Rapids

April 4, 2011

Earlier today about 400 people gathered near the State building in Grand Rapids as part of the national We Are One demonstrations against federal and state policies attacking working people and local communities.

People gathered on the corner of Michigan and Ottawa street holding a variety of signs attempting to draw attention to the austerity measures that are being imposed upon people in Michigan by Governor Snyder.

There were people representing the teachers unions, firefighters, environmental groups, UAW, SEIU, government employees, the Kent-Ionia Labor Council, students and faculty from GVSU and the IWW.

Most people stayed on the sidewalk trying to get the attention of those driving past, with many motorists honking horns in support. Some people chanted and others sang solidarity songs.

This writer spoke with some union members who are upset with the Snyder administration for ending the State film industry incentives, which had provided some union workers with jobs either in film production or stage/set building.

There were also people handing out flyers from a variety of interests. On flyer from the We Are One group was advertising another march scheduled for Tuesday, April 19 at 4:30 PM beginning at the Spirit of Solidarity Monument (by the entrance to the Ford Museum). This action will coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the Grand Rapids furniture workers strike of 1911.

Another flyer was being circulated by the Grand Rapids branch of the IWW. Their flyer provided some analysis of the anti-worker policies being enacted by Governor Snyder. In addition, the flyer was advocating for a General Strike to take place as a means of making our demands and fighting against the draconian policies of the government and its corporate paymasters.

We also had the chance to interview a few people to get their response to what is happening in Michigan. We interviewed students representing GVSU and the LGBT contingent of GVSU, Greg Shotwell with Soldiers of Solidarity and Shannon Williams with the IWW.


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