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WITH VIDEO: More Than 1,000 Protest Wisconsin Governor's Appearance in Troy

Teachers, union members and others chanted, marched and yelled at people arriving for a Republican dinner Tuesday at the San Marino Club, where Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was to be a speaker.

More than 1,000 protesters chanted, marched and yelled as attendees arrived Tuesday evening for a Republican dinner at the in Troy.

The 9th Congressional District Republican committee's Southeast Michigan Ronald Reagan Memorial Dinner 2012 was the event, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's appearance there was the draw for protesters.

The crowd, estimated by Troy police to have reached about 1,300 people at one point, chanted "What do we want?" and an answering "Justice!" and "When do we want it?" "Now!" The protests, which started about 5 p.m. in advance of the 7 p.m. dinner program, stretched a whole block of Big Beaver Road.

The Michigan chapter of the National Action Network headed by the Rev. Charles Willams II planned the protest along with representatives of the UAW and other labor unions as well as the Occupy Detroit movement. They planned to deliver a "subpoena" to Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who they call  "co-conspirators against the 99 percent."

Many people in the crowd were teachers, and many were there with their children.

"I'm concerned about the erosion of my profession," said Novi teacher Chandra Madafferi. "When you strip away collective bargaining rights, you're taking away things like class size, calendar, working conditions – other things besides wages and benefits.

"My concern is that people won't go into teaching because they can't support their families. When the quality of teachers go down, the kids suffer."

Melissa Gronzo, a teacher from Utica, held a sign that said "Jobs" with question marks surrounding it. "He's cutting funding for education left and right," Gronzo said. "It's not fair to the kids."

Alan Gieleghem of Pontiac, who teaches in Troy and was there with his wife, Christine, and their daughter and niece, said, " We're just here to support collective bargaining."

Maria Stanczyk was at the protest with her daughters, Jenny, 8, and Nina, 10. "I'm a teacher and I want them to know we're not going to take this lightly and we're going to vote," Stanczyk said.

Others, such as Matthew Fiems of Canton, said they were there representing the "99 percent," standing against "the greed and policies of Walker and Snyder."

"They're killing us here in Michigan," Fiems said.

Two more protesters, Southfield resident Chiriga Sparks, left, and Torrey Green, of Detroit, said, "We are the 99 percent."

Teresa Sweeney, 21, of Ferndale said, "We have to stop the corruption and support the unions."

Mog April 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Since you say this is an indisputable fact, please provide the data that shows "most" teachers graduated from the bottom quartile of their high school classes. Remember, data and evidence is the cornerstone of school reform these days! I bet teachers would love to get away with supplying all of their 'FACTS' about student growth with the generic terms "most" and "many". Alas, it seems only people wishing to rant can practice poor science.
Erich Von Zipper April 19, 2012 at 03:29 PM
EruditeEarlobe, are you a product of public education or can we give credit for your "FACT FILLED" (?) posts to the private sector?
morninmist April 21, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Calling students 'products" is of the factory assembly line mentality--demeaning and inappropriate.. I --and others oppose charter schools because they take away from public funding of public schools. If parents want private schools, let them pay the tuition--and not drain funding. Clinton sent his daughter to private school because of security. You have to do some of your own research for the others. What upper 75% are you referring to? ..... EruditeEarlobe 5:37 pm on Thursday, April 19, 2012 We of the upper 75%, are sick and tired of the bottom 25% (greedy unionist teachers and their allies in the UAW) holding us up for more monies so that they can keep turning out mediocre and inferior products. No wonder they fight when competition is introduced: charter, private, parochial, religious and home schools are treated with disdain. This of course also begs another question: if public schools are so good, why does (did) Obama, Kennedy and even Clinton send their kids to private schools?
DARCEL April 23, 2012 at 04:32 AM
It's glaringly obvious the household where you grew up decided to home school the children. BTW every republican president and vice president has sent all their children to private schools. Look it up for yourself. Heck, even GWB who was a recipient of republican affirmative action @ Harvard (he really was in the bottom percentile of his class)
John P. Morse June 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Scotty won, Unionist Lost Yippieee

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