Union workers who were protesting the passage of so-called “right-to-work” laws outside the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan are “terrorists,” according to a former high-ranking official in the Republican Party of Virginia who now serves in a county-level elected office.
Shawn Kenney, who formerly served as the communications director for the state GOP and is now the chairman of the Fluvanna Co. Board of Supervisors, posted an entry on his blog titled, “We Don’t Negotiate With (Union) Terrorists.” The post features a video of a brief fight that occurred outside the Michigan state capitol. Before the video, Kenney writes: “…and these people are terrorists.”
The video, the subject of numerous Fox News segments aimed at ginning up anti-union sentiment among the conservative base, shows an isolated fight between union protesters and Steven Crowder, a Fox News contributor who was punched during the dispute. A state employee (who is represented by a union) who witnessed Crowder’s earlier interactions with the crowd while passing by told the Huffington Post that Crowder appeared to be provoking the workers and there is evidence showing that the video may have been selectively edited to portray union members in a negative light. “There was no question he was there just to start a fight, to start some kind of trouble,” the witness said. Crowder admitted to HuffPost that he “definitely provoked them,” but said he did it by “asking them basic questions” and “didn’t expect to be assaulted.”
While it is unfortunate that any violence occurred, local media reports and police painted a picture of the protests that didn’t quite resemble “terrorism.” The protests, which included at least 10,000 workers, were “mostly peaceful” according to media reports, and the Michigan State Police said just three arrests were made.
Another former Republican Party of Virginia official wrote on the same blog this week that by passing “right-to-work,” Michigan had “finally unshackle[d] itself from slavery.”