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Keiser's Role

Right to what?

December 19, 2012 - There is much that could be said from both sides about Michigan being the 24th state to join the ranks of "Right to Work."

Some argue it's another method to "union busting," while others say it's simply giving workers "a choice whether they want to join a union or not." Will it break the unions or cause union leaders to work that much harder to sell their cause and recruite more members? I guess we will find out.

While I can see arguments both for and against, I am not writing this in support or non support of Right to Work, instead I rather focus on incidences surrounding the topic.

According to news reports, during protests at the capital in Lansing on Thursday Dec. 6, eight people were arrested after trying to push through state police troopers to get into the senate chamber. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, upwards of 12,000 people showed up to protest Gov. Rick Snyder and legislators.

In that protest at least three people were arrested, pepper spray was used at different points to control the mobs and various of tents of right to work supporters were ripped down. Oh and let's not forget the now famous youtube video of Fox News reporter Steve Crowder being punched in the face by a pro-union supporter.

Physical violence wasn't the only thing. African-American hot dog vendor Clint Tarver had his equipment destroyed and endured racial verbal attacks, according to reports.

Now as I recall, the Constitution gives us rights in such matters. We have the right to "free speech," to express our thoughts and opinions on varying topics. We also have the right to take that free speech either individually or collectively as a group for or against a cause and "freely assemble" or "freely protest" in a public area to make our voices known. However, with that right to assemble/protest comes a key word "peaceably."

The constitution reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" (emphasis added).

When people start charging police officers, throwing fists at one another and destroying property like fans of European soccer than I think you've lost your right to protest. None of those actions help your cause, but instead just bring shame upon you as an individual, your family and the company or organization you represent.

I love to see people who are passionate about something and willing to stand up and defend a cause that they feel so strongly about grab their picket signs and let their voices be known. But don't let your passion get the better of you where you resort to violence and end up hurting your cause more than helping it.

"In a free and republican goverment, you can not restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking, consequently will judge of effects without attending to the causes." ~ George Washington

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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