Protests disrupt Pete Buttigieg speaking event at Michigan State

On Nov. 29, several protests took place outside of Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg held a speaking event inside the venue. The event was one of many along the secretary’s recent speaking tour that has been met with protests. 

Three distinct groups protested the event: the Sunrise Movement, Michigan State’s Hurriya Coalition, and Climate Defiance. The Sunrise Movement, which is a national grassroots movement advocating for climate justice, hung banners out of the Kellogg Center’s main parking garage, where most event attendees were entering. The three banners read in all capital letters: You have blood on your hands; Biden: Fund climate action not genocide; and Biden: Declare a climate emergency

Two simultaneous protests at Michigan Capitol rally for their causes

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.

Lansing UAW members and supporters enter second month of GM strike

Two Lansing General Motors facilities are among the many auto manufacturing plants on strike as the United Auto Workers (UAW) union entered their second month without a contract. 

However, at the Lansing Customer Care and Aftersales (CCA) Redistribution Center, located on West Mt. Hope Road, UAW members and local supporters were optimistic that they could hold out and win what picketers called a “revolutionary contract.” Union members and supporters alike were protesting to advocate for improvements in wages, benefits and hours. They noted the wage increases for Stellantis, GM and Ford CEOs in the last several years as being indicative of the companies’ financial standings and their abilities to increase employee wages. Picketers also called for the end of the tiered wage system, outlined in their previous UAW contract, which implements wage increases based on time at the plant and what type of work is being done. 

UAW members’ pay has decreased by 19.3% since 2008, in contrast to the 40% wage increase the “Big Three” CEOs have experienced in the same time period, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute. To combat this, the UAW is demanding a 46% wage increase, a four-day work week, and overtime pay beyond 32 hours. 

At the time of publishing, UAW President Shawn Fain has made no indication of the strike nearing an end or a potential contract being reached.