April 14, 2011- A mostly union crowd of more than 5,000 swarmed around and inside the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest planned state budget cuts and tax changes it decried as hurtful to the middle class and unions.
Under comfortable, sunny skies, the six-hour rally may have topped in number a similar demonstration in March. Both were organized by the Michigan AFL-CIO and its affiliates.
Once again, the invective of the rally speakers and a sea of signs were aimed at Gov. Rick Snyder and Republicans
"We're here to fight for a fair economy," said Pamela Moore, 52, who said she has been a janitor at the Renaissance Center for 25 years as a member of the Service Employees International Union.
Moore added, "We've worked too hard all these years for him to come in and tax our pensions."
Some Capitol officials estimated the entire Wednesday crowd at 7,000 or more, as some demonstrators departed and others took their places.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was among the speakers who stirred the crowd.
"When I look out on this crowd, I see bad news for the tea party and the Republicans," said Bernero, who then led a chant, "Main Street, not Wall Street," a slogan from his failed campaign for governor in 2010.