Two simultaneous protests at Michigan Capitol rally for their causes

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Rent is Too Damn High Protesters in the Michigan House Gallery

LANSING, Mich—Two protests simultaneously occurred at Michigan’s capitol building on Nov. 8. The east side of the building hosted Michigan’s March for Life Rally, a pro-life event hosted by the Right to Life of Michigan, while the west side hosted The Rent is Too Damn High, who advocated for passage of the state House’s Renters’ Bill of Rights and an increase to the state budget for social housing aid.

Chanting echoed from both sides of the building as the two events rallied their supporters. March for Life, which had significantly more attendees, banged drums and blew horns in moments of agreement, dominating the space. Each cause hosted a range of passionate supporters.

Eli Folts, an organizer with the Rent is Too Damn High, commented on the contrast between the two events.

“We’re not just out here chanting. We did some really cool lobbying, talking to representatives who might be willing to support our cause, fighting for shelter and housing for houseless people, and then we’re going to go do some action in the Capitol Gallery, so hopefully, we can make them understand why there is such a massive sense of urgency as we approach winter,” Folts said.

Tenesa Sanders, also known as “Mz Tea”, discussed the difference in urgency between the two protests.

“We’re out here because people are suffering, it’s millions and millions of people suffering, not just thousands,” Sanders said.

“It’s not that our causes are necessarily against one another, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one of us out there with them,” Folts added in regards to the other protest. “We’re fighting for real life.”

While the Rent is Too Damn High protesters entered the Capitol Gallery to disrupt the Nov. 8 House meeting, the March for Life embarked on their march around the capitol square.

Peter Sonski, a presidential candidate with the self-described Christian nationalist American Solidarity Party argued for the importance of the March for Life.

“The American Solidarity Party stands squarely for life, it supports life from womb to tomb. I’m here with so many others to witness the dignity, the sanctity, the worth of every human life,” Sonski said. “We want to make abortion not just illegal, we want to make abortion unthinkable.”

“We’re out here to stop this hideous death, this hideous thing that’s going on in our state and country: killing innocent babies,” said Larry G. Williams, a retiree who traveled to the Capitol for the March for Life protest.

While March for Life protestors continued around the Capitol, on the inside, The Rent is Too Damn High protestors entered the State House Gallery, disrupting a House meeting and chanting their demands.

“I wish we could have been in there for longer, I wish we could have had the banners up for longer, but I think that we were loud, and got the point across,” said Charlie Slawnik, a Rent is Too Damn High protestor. “They all left because they’re afraid of us, and they should be, because we’re a growing movement, and they know that the pressure’s building, and they won’t be able to hold on to the status quo for much longer.”

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