Former Rep. Mark Schauer (D-MI) was pepper-sprayed by police at Michigan's capitol building amid an escalating protest against so-called "right to work" bills passed by the legislature on Tuesday that critics say will strip public and private unions of their bargaining power.

Schauer said he and other protesters gathered outside the Capitol's northern entrance on Tuesday afternoon when officers came to clear them away.

According to The Battle Creek Enquirer, he tried to negotiate a line between police and the demonstrators, but instead he was pepper sprayed.

"I immediately began to retreat and began to cover my eyes and my mouth," Schauer told the paper. "It was not good."

An upwards of 10,000 demonstrators have been milling about the Capitol all day as lawmakers pass two controversial bills that would make union membership non-mandatory in unionized industries. At least one demonstrator was trampled by a police horse in an apparent accident.

This video is from The Uptake, live streamed on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.

Video streaming by Ustream

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has also uploaded video to YouTube of protesters being pepper-sprayed by police. Watch below: