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New bill would raise fines for mass picketing, hold organizations behind protests accountable

Nic Stage

A bill introduced in the state house January 11 would increase fines for mass picketing in Michigan.

The bill specifically targets picketing that blocks highways and businesses - increasing the fine from 500 dollars to one thousand.

Republican Representative Gary Glenn is the bill's sponsor.

“So it is not a piece of legislation that is making something illegal that is not already illegal. The practical effect of the legislation is to increase the fines for something that has already been illegal.”

Glenn said despite its illegality, mass picketing still happens.

“But obviously the fact that it’s already illegal did not deter, did not prevent that lawbreaking from taking place in recent years in Detroit and other places in Michigan. So we’re simply trying to make the deterrent even greater in hopes that it will prevent people from engaging in this already unlawful activity.”

Glenn said the bill will also penalize organizations behind the protests.

“So if there is some labor union or another organization that is mobilizing people and encouraging people to break the law it would establish a ten thousand dollar fine for that organization.”

Glenn introduced similar legislation last year, it died in the state senate. He says he’s hopeful that this time it will pass.