Dozens of protesters were arrested Thursday night for singing in Wisconsin capitol, in the second round of arrests triggered by a judge’s ruling that all groups over 20 people must obtain a permit before demonstrating.
At least 29 people with “Solidarity Sing-Along” were cuffed and taken away on Thursday night, according to local media. The arrests came a day after police took 24 singers into custody, making good on their oft’ repeated threats to enforce the permit rule.
The group has maintained a daily presence in the capitol for over two years, singing well-known songs every afternoon featuring anti-Republican lyrics, according to The Associated Press.
A Wisconsin judge ruled on July 8 that the demonstrators must acquire a permit before bringing a group of more than 20 people into the capitol for a protest.
Police have delivered daily warnings to the Solidarity Sing-Along members since the 11th, but Wednesday was the first day they actually made good on their threats. However, Wednesday’s arrests appear to have only angered the group, and they returned Thursday over 100 strong.
“It’s ridiculous,” protester Paul Sopko Jr. told the AP. “People are just trying to stand up for what they believe is right. Every time they do something, the crowd doubles. Every time they threaten the people, it brings more out of the woodwork.”
This video was published to YouTube on Thursday, July 25, 2013.
This video is from Wisconsin’s Fox 11, broadcast Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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