As I mentioned yesterday, several hundred people are planning to gather on the Diag tomorrow at 1:00 to voice their disapproval over Governor Rick Snyder being named U-M’s Spring commencement speaker. While it promises to be an exciting event, it now looks as though the real action tomorrow is going to be in Lansing, where preparations are presently underway for a big rally. We may not be as far along as our brothers and sisters in Wisconsin are, but the momentum is definitely building. This afternoon, over 1,000 seniors gathered on the steps of the Capitol to protest Snyder’s budget proposal, and, at this very moment, Democrats are attempting to take over the Capitol building. There’s no way of knowing how many will be in Lansing tomorrow, but, with Michael Moore offering free transportation, one hopes that it will be significant.
Here, for those of you who missed it, is Moore’s plea to his fellow Michiganders.
Friends and neighbors,
The call has gone out and I’m asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats.
What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries — and then ran in the general election as “just a nerd from Ann Arbor” who was a moderate, not an ideologue — has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I’ve ever seen in electoral politics.
Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street.
In just 8 short weeks he has:
* Gotten the House and Senate to pass bills giving him “Emergency Management” powers such as the ability to appoint a corporation or a CEO who could literally dissolve town governments or school boards, fire the elected officials, nullify any local law and run your local governmental entity. That company then would have the power to immediately declare all collective bargaining contracts null and void.
* Proposed giving business a whopping 86% tax cut while raising everyone’s personal taxes by 31%! And much of that tax hike he believes should be shouldered by — I kid you not — senior citizens and the poor! He says these two groups have not been “sharing the sacrifice” the rest of us have been burdened with. So his budget proposes a $1.8 billion tax CUT for business and a $1.75 billion tax INCREASE for the rest of us, much of it from the poor, seniors and working people — even though the top 1% in Michigan ALREADY pay a lower state tax rate than everyone else does!
* Together with the legislature, introduced over 40 anti-labor bills in just the first two months of this session! They have wasted no time and have caught most people off guard. Much of this is being rushed through right now before you have a chance to raise your voice in objection.
These actions are breathtaking when you realize they will drive our already battered state straight into the ground. What we needed right now was an inspiring leader to help us reinvent Michigan and to find creative ways to create new jobs and lift us out of our economic depression. The rest of the country may call what they’re experiencing the “Great Recession,” but few argue that Michigan is suffering a “one-state Depression.”
I know many of you are filled with a great sense of despair and a justifiable loss of hope these days in Michigan. But you must not let things get even worse. You must stand up against these Draconian measures and this outrageous attempt to rip our democratic rights from us by turning our state over to well-paid hacks from Wall Street and corporate America. They see our state as one big fire sale — and they are licking their chops to get their hands on what is still a state rich in natural resources and industrial infrastructure.
Please show up at noon on Wednesday for our first mega-rally against this insanity. Hundreds of groups are already organizing car pools and buses. You can right now just declare yourself an organizer and get your friends and neighbors committed to being in Lansing. If ever there were a day to call in sick, Wednesday is it (because this IS sick). Students, if ever there were a day to cut class and become a participant in your democracy, Wednesday is it. This event needs to be HUGE — and I believe it will be if you will simply be there and take a stand.
Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Well, they got nothing on what’s going on here in Michigan. Rick Snyder is Scott Walker on steroids. There’s never been what even the AARP calls “an all-out attack” like this on us. Trust me, you will rue the day you sat home and did nothing while thieves posing as politicians stole your Great Lakes State from you.
Don’t let it happen. Be at the capitol by noon on Wednesday for the largest demonstration the state has ever seen.
Go Spartans! Go Wolverines! Go Everyone Else In Between!
So far, it looks like busses will be leaving from Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Taylor, Flint, Grand Rapids, and a number of other cities. The Ann Arbor busses will be leaving from The Cube, at the corner of East Jefferson & Maynard, at 1:00. (The busses are scheduled to return by 7:30 PM.) If you would like a seat, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.904.6522. (For those of you outside the Ann Arbor area, follow the “Michael Moore” link above to find out more about busses leaving from your city.)