LANSING — Since the election of President Donald J. Trump there has been an increase in public protest around the country. On Jan. 21, millions of men, women, and children marched in protest of Trump.
Thousands gathered that Saturday at the Capitol. People expressed concern over a range of issues including equal pay, healthcare access, and LGBT discrimination. When there is a protest of this magnitude a common question may be, “How can I plan something like this?”
In Michigan, organizers have to go through Barbra Thumudo, the assistant facility/events coordinator at the Michigan Capitol.
“When someone calls for the first time, I direct them to the Capitol website http://capitol.michigan.gov/Events and there is information like our procedures and the request form to be filled out,” said Thumudo.
Cost varies depending on whether organizers can supply their own equipment or the state needs to provide, for example, a public address system, chairs, tables, podium, etc. Most protests or political events are held at the front steps and sidewalk of the Capitol.
When planning large events that cover political or social issues Capitol police are available. Officers are around to ensure safety during all public or private events
In 2015, the state received funds to hire more Capitol security. During the Women’s March you could see officials walking and having friendly conversation with people.