Heavy security, few protesters for State of the State address


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Marcia Fittro, left, Sierra Webb, middle, and Tim Valeck protest water rights, Jan. 17 in front of the Michigan Capital Building. Josh Barnhart | Staff Photographer

LANSING — Only a few people gathered outside Michigan’s Capitol Building to protest Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address Tuesday night.  

Lisa Leggio drove from Holland to protest an issue she feels has been an ongoing pattern of Snyder’s administration. 

“We can talk about how we’re paying millions of dollars to defend a man who let children get poisoned in Flint, and who shut off water in Detroit,” Leggio said. “He ignores all of the things that we’ve voted against — it’s fascism — this is fascism that we’re protesting.” 

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A video critical of Gov. Rick Snyder plays outside the George W. Romney State Office Building, Jan. 17 in Lansing. Greg Horner | News Editor

Lieutenant Kyle Bowman, commander of State Security Operations, said security preparations have been made in advance of the address. 

“Obviously we have a bit more security for tonight,” Bowman said. “At the capitol, on any given day, a large group can show up. We’re not anticipating anything outside the usual, we’re just here to keep everyone safe.” 

Hugh Madden, communications director for Progress Michigan, set up a projector outside Snyder’s office showing a video critical of what the governor has done in office. The video featured video of the Flint Water Crisis, the Detroit Public Schools and events following the 2016 election. 

“We’re showing a video describing the real state of the state,” Madden said. “The governor is inside giving his spin on the last six years of complete Republican control, and we’re here to remind him about the many issues that are facing Michigan families.” 

Madden said protestors from Flint visited Lansing earlier in the day and thinks rainy weather may have deterred more people from coming out. 

"Rick Snyder is still sitting on his chair using tax-payer money to defend himself," Warren native Sierra Webb said. "He needs to go and he needs to go now. There are so many lives that he has endangered with his reckless decision-making."  

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