Clinton Tarver has been serving hot dogs to hungry locals in downtown Lansing, Mich., for the last five years, but a brush this week with a pro-union protest literally upended his small business in a matter of minutes.
During a protest against right-to-work legislation in Michigan’s capital, Tarverâs catering supplies were destroyed when demonstrators tore down the tent where he was serving and trampled his gear.
The tent had been set up by the conservative Americans for Prosperity, which supports the legislation Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Tuesday that allows unionized workers to opt out of paying union dues.
Tarver, who has been a small business owner for the last 16 years, was there to give hot dogs to supporters in the tent on the Capitol lawn. He said he was just checking tickets, not sizing up customers.
âEveryone that had a ticket I had given a hot dog to,â the 63-year-old owner ofÂ Clintâs Hot Dog Cart and Casual CateringÂ told FoxNews.com. âSo when two guys, one with a mask, came to get their hot dogs, I didnât think anything of it because they had tickets and I was just there for a job.â
He described the action that ensued as âviolent.â Only minutes after heâd handed the two men their hot dogs, the pair tore down the tent, turned over his serving tables, smashed his hot dogs, tossed a cooler filled with sodas and spilled his chili.
âI kept explaining that I was just here to do a job, that I wasnât on anybodyâs side, but when people started calling me racial slurs, my friend who works at the Capitol told me I had to get out of there, so I crawled out,â said Tarver, who is black.
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