UPDATE: 26 citations and 3 state charges at sing-along - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: 26 citations and 3 state charges at Solidarity Sing-along

Posted:

MADISON (WKOW) -- A bigger crowd greeted Capitol Police Thursday, but it didn't stop them from making more arrests at the Solidarity Sing-along.

They handed out 26 more citations to the singers for not having a permit and another three arrests were made for disorderly conduct or resisting arrest.

Emboldened by Wednesday's arrests for assembling a group of more than 20 people without a permit, about twice as many people showed up to sing at noon on Thursday.

"This is actually the first time I've been here for a couple of years," said Fran Keally of Madison, who said she came out to show her support.

Fran Keally wasn't alone, as several people specifically came down because of the arrests a day earlier.

"When we were in town for a family reunion, we really felt it was important to bring our kids here and show them, you know, what it is to be an American," said Zeb Page, who is visiting from Ohio.

A number of Democratic lawmakers also showed up, including Madison-area State Representatives Chris Taylor, Diane Hesselbein and Melissa Sargent.

"I thought we were past this," said Sargent.  "And unfortunately the way our DOA and GOP government is dealing with this, they're just escalating it, rather than taking the time to listen to the people of Wisconsin."

The Department of Administration refused interviews and instead put out a statement, part of which reads:  "If the noontime singers would get a permit, then they could continue their activities without any arrests or citations.  They are the only group being cited as they are the only group who has not applied for a permit for their regularly scheduled events at the Capitol rotunda. The question to ask is why they refuse to apply for a permit."

The singers and their attorneys say they don't need a permit, because its not constitutional and none of the citations have, or will hold up in court.

"It's the lawyers in the Attorney General's office who keep realizing they're not gonna be able to get a conviction, so they move with a dismissal," said William B. Turner, an attorney who has successfully defended a number of the singers.

The Solidarity Singers normally move their activities outside on Friday and several indicated that would be the case again tomorrow.

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UPDATE (WKOW) --- Capitol Police gave out 26 citations for no permit at the Capitol solidarity sing-along Thursday.

Three people were charged with disorderly conduct or resisting arrest.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration released the following statement:

"The Capitol Police are sworn officers who will continue to uphold the law, which has also been upheld by a federal judge.  If the noontime singers would get a permit, then they could continue their activities without any arrests or citations.  They are the only group being cited as they are the only group who has not applied for a permit for their regularly scheduled events at the Capitol rotunda. The question to ask is why they refuse to apply for a permit."

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UPDATE (WKOW) --- Police warned a larger crowd Thursday at the Capitol.

Arrests are happening right now, in day two of the arrests.

We are at the Capitol now and will continue to update this story on WKOW.com and on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Just 24 hours after Capitol Police arrested 22 Solidarity Singers for holding an event without the proper permit, an even bigger group is expected to show up for the sing-along on Thursday.

Capitol Police had issued warnings for two weeks to the singers before finally cracking down on Wednesday, issuing $200 citations for each arrest.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Administration, which oversees Capitol Police, have not said whether there will be more arrests, but several of the singers tell 27 News they expect it.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have more on this story on 27 News at 5 and 6.

 

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