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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Scott Hagerstrom
Conservative activists and supporters of Michigan's new right-to-work law gathered on the Statehouse lawn Thursday to demand justice for what they said were threats, intimidation and entrapment under a tent that was destroyed by union supporters during protests two days earlier by thousands of labor union activists.
As furious union members vowed to carry their fight into the next election cycle, lawmakers pushed through historic right-to-work legislation Tuesday — making this bastion of industrial labor strength the 24th state and the second in the Rust Belt to adopt right-to-work laws for public- and private-sector unions.
After weeks of speculation, Michigan's GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday pushed ahead with a bill to make this historic labor stronghold a right-to-work state, sparking a clash in the state Capitol and setting up what could be an epic fight watched by union and management supporters nationwide.
The owners of Detroit's aging Ambassador Bridge - the privately owned span that has a monopoly on commercial truck traffic linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario - are taking their fight to the people, seeking a ballot question on whether state officials can go ahead with a second, publicly financed bridge.
Political observers are using a sports analogy when speaking about Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and the likelihood of a new and controversial bridge being built that would link Detroit and Canada: the ball is in his court.
The momentum for a new bridge linking Detroit and Canada seems to be waning in Michigan, where the wealthy owner of a private span has waged a pricey public-relations war on television to sink it and a new public opinion poll released this week suggests a majority of voters oppose it.
It's supposed to unite two countries, but a proposed $2 billion bridge linking Detroit to nearby Windsor, Ontario, is proving a divisive idea in these parts.
Mr. Hagerstrom claimed state police on the Capitol grounds did nothing – even after repeated 911 calls – to stop the onslaught, during which frightened right-to-work supporters were shouted down with profanity, spat on, shoved and threatened with violence.
Mr. Hagerstrom says he will file a Freedom of Information Act request with the Statehouse police to obtain a copy of a video of the protests shot from atop a balcony to better offer evidence of what he says was a frightening and unwarranted attack.