Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 11, 2012
UPDATE: A video released by Steven Crowder this afternoon backs up Crowder’s claims that he was assaulted by union members protesting. In the video Crowder is attacked by two separate union members. A third shouts at him that he has a gun and he’s “killed plenty of motherf**kers with a gun.”
Michigan unions’ hissy fit over the state’s presumptive new right-to-work laws went from annoying to out-of-control this afternoon. Shortly after the Michigan legislature officially passed right-to-work legislation, disgruntled union members were caught tearing down an Americans for Prosperity (AFP) tent filled with people outside the Michigan Capitol.
Union members can be seen in a video shot by The Detroit News cheering as the tent topples. Ironically, just before the tent goes down, a union boss is taped complaining about how the conservative activists claim that “unions are thugs.”
“We don’t need that s**t,” he can be heard saying before he is drowned out by the mob of union protesters screaming around him.
The AFP logo can clearly be seen on the tent in a video shot by FOX News. In FOX’s video union workers can be overheard harassing and cursing at conservative activists.
The Michigan State Police confirms that pepper spay was also used on at least one person in the unruly crowd of protesters who “grabbed hold of a trooper and would not release.”
Conservative comedian and Fox News Contributor Steven Crowder witnessed the tent trashing. Crowder confirmed via twitter that the tent belonged to the Michigan chapter of Americans for Prosperity, and that there were women and children inside the tent when the union members tore it down. Crowder claims that he was personally punched in the face four times, sustaining a minor cut on his forehead and a chipped tooth.
Last week AFP’s Michigan Director Scott Hagerstrom also had profanities laced at him by outraged union members as he stood on the capitol steps.
Americans for Prosperity, a pro-growth organization advocating for limited government and a free market economy, has been at the forefront of the movement to give Michigan workers the right to opt out of joining unions. The tent was set up as part of the organization’s “Workplace Freedom Lobby Days” program to show support for the right-to-work legislation, and had been assembled on a space legally rented by the organization for the purpose of demonstrating.
“Despite this victory, it took place amid union brutality and violence. I am saddened by union protestors’ complete disregard for safety and freedom of speech, tearing down an AFP tent and stomping on peaceful AFP demonstrators trapped under the tent,” Hagerstrom said in a press release.
“Angry, violent union protestors are yelling, screaming, and physically assaulting citizens they disagree with all while chanting ‘this is what democracy looks like.’ That isn’t what democracy looks like, democracy is about free speech and peaceful assembly, not putting people’s well-being in danger just because you disagree with them.”
This post has been updated to include additional information.
Francesca Chambers contributed to this report.