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

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

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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.

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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.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Capitol Police arrested 22 people - three of them twice - for participating in the Solidarity Sing-along Wednesday afternoon.

The arrests come a few weeks after a federal judge ruled the Department of Administration can require permits for events with more than 20 people.

"Participants do not move outside or disperse, they will be subject to arrest," announced a Capitol Police Sergeant when the Sing-along started.

Capitol Police issued two verbal warnings and one written one that the event was unlawful, but that didn't phase the singers who kept right on belting out protest tunes. After 20 minutes, police started cracking down.

"I was charged with violation of Section 214v2 of the administrative code - no permit. The fine is $200.50," said Jason Huberty, who's penalty was the same one handed out to the other arrested protesters.

The singers were released after getting the citations. Many came right back into the rotunda and started singing again. Three of them, including Huberty, were then arrested for a second time in less than 30 minutes.

"He asked me if I would leave and I said No, I wasn't ordered," said Huberty, referring to a police officer.

Democratic lawmakers in attendance call the arrests a tremendous overreach.

"Well, I've been to Moscow and I've felt safer in Moscow than I do in our own State Capitol. I'm terribly offended that some people think that singing is some kind of terrible offense," said Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar).

No one from Capitol Police or the Department of Administration would do an interview, but DOA Spokesperson Stephanie Marquis put out the following statement: "Judge Conley ruled several weeks ago that the State's permit process is constitutional. The Capitol Police are upholding the law to ensure the building can be shared by all citizens who come to the Capitol."

But the protesters who were arrested say they will be back on Thursday, with likely more people supporting them.

"Its kinda cool," said arrested protester Bill Dunn. "People standing up for free speech."

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