LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some roads around and leading to the Michigan Capitol will be closed or access will be restricted starting Monday ahead of anticipated rallies and following raucous demonstrations last week to protest right-to-work legislation, state police said.
One road to the west of the Capitol in Lansing will be closed to vehicle and foot traffic on Monday, and traffic and parking will be banned on several other roads in the area from 6 a.m. Tuesday, state police said in a statement.
Hundreds of chanting, whistle-blowing demonstrators thronged the Capitol last Thursday as right-to-work bills were introduced and approved hours later. Inside, eight people were arrested after authorities say they disobeyed orders and tried to rush past two state troopers and into the Senate chamber.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has pledged to sign the legislation.
Police said rules governing access to the state Capitol will be strictly enforced this week.
"All of the measures we are taking at the Capitol are to ensure the safety of those working and conducting business in the Capitol and the surrounding state buildings," state police director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said in the statement. "Our responsibility includes safeguarding the Constitutional rights of those attempting to petition their legislators, and enforcing these rules allows us to provide a safe forum for everyone."
Opponents of right-to-work laws spent the weekend mapping strategy for protests and acts of civil disobedience. More protests are expected on Monday. They plan to gather Monday evening near Snyder's home in Washtenaw County's Superior Township, near Ann Arbor.
Even more demonstrators are expected in Lansing on Tuesday, when the House and Senate may reconcile wording differences.
Right-to-work laws prohibit requiring employees to join a union or pay fees similar to union dues as a condition of employment. Supporters say it's about freedom of association for workers and a better business climate. Critics contend the real intent is to bleed unions of money and bargaining power.
Procedures for use of Michigan State Capitol: http://1.usa.gov/GDwerF
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