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Right To Work Protest Michigan: Reports Of Arrests As Union Supporters Pack Lansing Capitol Building

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RIGHT TO WORK PROTEST MICHIGAN
State Police block protesters outside the Senate chamber at the State Capitol Building in downtown Lansing, Mich. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Eight people were arrested for resisting and obstructing when they tried to push past two troopers guarding the Senate door, state police Inspector Gene Adamczyk said. The Capitol was temporarily closed because of safety concerns. (AP Photo/The State Journal, Rod Sanford) | AP

UPDATE: 4:48 p.m. -- Police have arrested eight demonstrators for obstructing and resisting while attempting to move past two state troopers stationed at the doors of the Michigan Senate, the Associated Press reports. State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk, who estimated the number of visitors to the state Capitol at 2,500 people, told the news agency Thursday afternoon that the building was closed due to safety concerns. He was uncertain as to when it would be reopened.

Earlier: Michigan State Police put the state Capitol building on lockdown Thursday afternoon in response to rambunctious protests against proposed right-to-work legislation.

At least four arrests have been made in demonstrations that police say have involved people lying on the ground and attempting to reach secure areas of the building, FOX-47 reports. State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk told the Detroit Free Press that mace was sprayed into a group of people trying to get to the Senate floor.

The protests follow an announcement made by Gov. Snyder this morning that he intends to sign a proposed bill that would stop mandatory dues payment requirements in union workplaces. During the press conference, state Republican leaders announced their intention to take immediate action on the right-to-work legislation.

Gov. Rick Snyder told attendees of the press conference that right-to-work was necessary to protect "freedom in the workplace."

State police have said they have blocked the capitol doors and are refusing entrance due to concerns about the Capitol's structural integrity, the Lansing State Journal reports

According to the newspaper, the state's Democrats are taking legal action to end the lockdown.

“House Democrats are disappointed in the tactics that the House Republicans are employing at this time with access to the floor," Michigan House Democrats said in a joint statement released to The Huffington Post.

"The House Dems are standing firm when it comes to protecting the middle class families in Michigan. Governor Snyder and Legislative Republicans would rather cave into special interests and institute Washington DC style politics by pushing the toxic and divisive partisan wish list of the extremists within their own party than create jobs or fight for fair wages and benefits for ALL residents.”

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