Supporters of the newly formed group We Are Michigan, assembled outside the Michigan State University Breslin Center to congratulate graduating students as they headed for their graduation ceremony Saturday December 15, 2012. Members of the group also say they showed up to protest the policies of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder who gave the commencement speech during the ceremony. According to their website, We Are Michigan, “is a coalition of faith, community, labor and progressive groups united by a common commitment to strengthening Michigan’s middle class.” Press spokespeople from the group said that they organized a ‘positive’ action by being there to congratulate the graduates but at the same time, making their presence known to Gov. Snyder that they will be continuing to put pressure on him. After handing out flowers and candy canes as MSU students made their way into the Breslin Center on campus for the graduation ceremony, the group headed back to the Kellogg Center where they staged from earlier in the morning for a debriefing.
Shortly after, a bus of supporters and members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), arrived to protest in their place. Although there to congratulate the students as well, SEIU supporters rallied loudly and chanted against the governor and his recently signed right-to-work law as graduates listened to the governor’s commencement speech inside the Breslin Center.