The Michigan protests and budget dispute has fired up the state. But to much of the nation, the struggle in Michigan has gone on in the shadows compared with the other states in the Midwest. However, that may change Wednesday, with a rally that could dwarf the one in Wisconsin last weekend. While Gov. Scott Walker and his budget plans have gotten massive press, Gov. Rick Snyder and his proposals will face a huge protest of their own. As such, Michigan activists are making it clear that Wisconsin isn't standing alone.
Thus far, Wisconsin has had the most publicized battle over budget cuts, and over union rights. But much of the Midwest is facing the same kind of battle, even if unions aren't the whole center of it. In fact, activists like Michael Moore state that Michigan's potential budget cuts are even worse.
Snyder was not considered to be an extreme Republican. However, he has now been put on a par with Walker, for bills that would give corporations and CEOs "Emergency Management" over struggling institutions. His proposals are also accused of being harsh on senior citizens and the poor, along with being anti-union.
Activists haven't called for Snyder's recall yet, but it could be an option before long. First, they are looking to put together a "mega-rally" against his bills, at noon Wednesday in Lansing. They are asking workers, students, and anyone else who's able, to call in sick and join them. And of course, Michigan's own Michael Moore is spreading the word on his website after he helped rally Wisconsin's protesters on Saturday afternoon.
But for all these two states are doing, Indiana is in even greater gridlock. Walker got around his opposition eventually, while Snyder has rammed through a lot of his bills already. Yet in Indiana, House Democrats have been staying in Illinois for four weeks to block passage of their own budget proposals. Although Walker found a way to bypass his absent Democrats, Indiana's House leaders cannot do the same.
The dispute over budgets, unions and collective bargaining has spread across the nation these past weeks. However, the main battlefield in this issue is still in the Midwest, as Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana have made the most noise. If this is to spawn a bigger movement, there will have to be protests and rallies in other areas of America.
Perhaps a spark will be set in Pennsylvania, as Gov. Tom Corbett has drawn massive criticism for his proposed deep education cuts. Hearings over his budget began Monday, so the opposition isn't taking to the streets just yet. However, as Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana protests go on, they may be a legitimate option in non Midwestern states soon enough.